Personnel: Jeff Jerolamon (drums), Doug Lawrence (tenor saxophone), Randy Sandke (trumpet), George Cables (piano), Harvie Swartz (bass).
Recorded at Van Gelder Recording Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on July 13, 1993. Includes liner notes by Mark Gardner.
For this project, drummer Jeff Jerolamon pays tribute to Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, and Louie Bellson, three of his favorite drummers. He plays small-group swing and sounds quite adept in that genre, taking occasional solos, using subtlety, and driving the band. Pianist George Cables and bassist Harvie Swartz show flexibility, tenor saxophonist Doug Lawrence (who hints at Dexter Gordon) is the lead voice on most songs, and trumpeter Randy Sandke adds fire to four numbers, three of which are jumping pieces; pity that Sandke was not on the full album. "Avalon" works well as a bass-drums duet and "Dark Eyes" gives the group an opportunity to recall the Krupa Trio with tenorman Charlie Ventura. The music is fun throughout, the frameworks are sometimes unpredictable, and each of the musicians contributes colorful solos. This set is easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz collectors. ~ Scott Yanow