Bob Albanese: Bob Albanese; Tom Kennedy (bass instrument); Willard Dyson (drums, drum).
Personnel: Bob Albanese (piano); Ira Sullivan (flute, alto flute, saxophone, sopranino saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, shekere, percussion); Tom Kennedy (bass guitar).
Audio Mixer: Jim Clouse.
Liner Note Author: Ira Gitler.
Recording information: Echo Beach Studio, Jupiter, FL (01/27/2008-01/02/2008).
In Chicago bop circles, Ira Sullivan's name has commanded the type of respect that Chicagoans have given the likes of Gene Ammons and Johnny Griffin. Mention Sullivan's name to the local jazz connoisseurs who have spent countless nights hanging out at the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase, or Andy's, and you're likely to hear a very enthusiastic dissertation about the Washington, D.C.-born trumpeter/reedman's contributions to jazz in the Windy City -- which is ironic in light of the fact that Sullivan moved from Chicago to Florida back in 1960. Nonetheless, his name still carries so much weight on Chicago's jazz scene that some Chicagoans (and non-Chicagoans as well) will want to acquire Bob Albanese's One Way/Detour simply because of Sullivan's presence. But this acoustic hard bop/post-bop date would have been strong even without the participation of Sullivan, who is featured on tenor sax, soprano sax, and alto flute but not on trumpet. In fact, the lyrical but swinging Albanese shines as a trio pianist on four selections that don't include Sullivan: "Major Minority," "Joyful Noise," "Waiting for Louis," and the title song (all of which employ Tom Kennedy on bass and Willard Dyson on drums). But Sullivan's presence on the other tracks is a definite plus, and the veteran jazzman (who was 76 when One Way/Detour was recorded in January 2008) is in fine form on Albanese originals as well as a lovely version of Lionel Hampton's "Midnight Sun" (which finds Albanese and Sullivan performing an intimate piano/soprano sax duet). This excellent album makes one hope that there will be more Albanese/Sullivan collaborations in the future. ~ Alex Henderson