Liner Note Authors: Noel Cohen ; Robert E. Sunenblick; Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: Rudy Van Gelder Recording Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (01/15/1988); Yoshi's, Oakland, CA (01/15/1988); Rudy Van Gelder Recording Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (06/08/1983-06/09/1983); Yoshi's, Oakland, CA (06/08/1983-06/09/1983).
Photographers: Scott Sternbach; Joseph Schuyler.
This Uptown LP is a bit unusual for Frank Wess because he left his flute at home and concentrated on his cool-toned tenor and alto. Wess is matched with flugelhornist Johnny Coles (the co-leader), pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Reggie Johnson and drummer Kenny Washington on a variety of mostly little-played jazz pieces that are arranged by Don Sickler. Since altoist Gigi Gryce had recently passed away, the quintet performs two of his songs ("Nica's Tempo" and "Minority") plus a couple of Kenny Dorham obscurities ("Whistle Stop" and "An Oscar for Oscar"), "Stablemates," "Ill Wind," the little-known ballad "Morning Star" and Bud Powell's "Celia." The unusual and consistently strong material clearly inspired the players. The talented musicians are heard in top form throughout this inventive straightahead date. ~ Scott Yanow