Down Beat (8/93, p.43) - 4.5 Stars - Very Good Plus - "...a lineup as imposing as the vintage New York Yankees' mythical Murderers Row...Koivistoinen happens to be a first-rate composer, an arranger of the highest order, and a strong post-Michael Brecker improviser on tenor..."
Personnel: Eero Koivistoinen (tenor & soprano saxophones), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Conrad Herwig (trombone), Dave Kikoski (piano), Bugge Wesseltoft (synthesizer), John Scofield (guitar), Ron McClure (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums).
Finland's premier saxophonist Koivistoinen ventured to New York City for this CD and employed some of the finest jazz players, including trombonist Conrad Herwig, trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist David Kikoski, bassist Ron McClure, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and guitarist John Scofield (on four cuts). Bugge Wesseltoft plays rather innocent, unobtrusive sythesizer on three other pieces. The horn charts are smartly arranged by the tenor and soprano saxophonist, and played to perfection. The music is contemporary, bop-based, modernistic, and well-swung by DeJohnette's personalized chatty signature rhythms. At their hippest and most basic, the band grooves on "Everblue," one of eight tracks Koivistionen penned. Brecker, Herwig, and Eero's tenor are united in a Horace Silver-type head nod. The easier swing of "Magreb" has a different Euro-soul, an ultra bright chart based on Kikoski pedal point piano. A similar vehicle from Kikoski informs Seppo Kantonen's "Kabuki," another cool chart with Scofield's electric guitar darting and searching for prismatic colors. McClure's piece "Inspiration" is a good swinger with tenor, trumpet, and trombone debating in point-counterpoint one-upmanship fashion. "Van Gogh" is a tenor-led tango with pining background horns, while the seascape beauty of "Clear Dream" -- with soprano and piano only -- gives a lush hint at the leader's soft side. Koivistoinen displays a nice combination of Wayne Shorter's harmonic sense and Michael Brecker's lyricism. This is highly recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos