Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Digitally remastered from the original tapes. Deluxe packaging with a 16-page booklet with original liner notes by Chris Sheridan and a new essay by jazz journalist Bill Milkowski, plus restored artwork, photos and session notes. Supervised by original producer and Xanadu label head Don Schlitten. First US reissue on CD since the original LP release in 1978.
Personnel: Bob Berg (tenor saxophone); Blue Mitchell (trumpet); Slide Hampton (trombone); Barry Harris (piano); Louis Hayes (drums).
Audio Mixer: Paul Goodman .
Liner Note Authors: Chris Sheridan; Zev Feldman; Bill Milkowski.
Recording information: RCA Studios, New York City (09/14/1977).
Director: Don Schlitten.
Bassist Sam Jones' recordings as a leader have generally been underrated, but virtually every one of them is well-planned and recommended. Although the gathering of the impressive sextet on this Xanadu LP (trumpeter Blue Mitchell, trombonist Slide Hampton, tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, pianist Barry Harris, drummer Louis Hayes, and Jones) could have resulted in a jam session. The music ("Stablemates," Oscar Pettiford's "Laverne Walk," and originals by Jones, Hampton, and Mitchell) often has tightly arranged sections and avoids the obvious. The solos are colorful and purposeful, the material fairly diverse, and the results are consistently swinging yet rarely predictable. ~ Scott Yanow