JazzTimes (p.67) - "Not many club recordings feel so much like a single landscape of evolving mood and feeling."
Personnel: Scott Reeves (flugelhorn); Rich Perry (tenor saxophone); Jim Ridl (piano); Mike McGuirck (bass instrument); Andy Watson (drums).
Audio Mixer: Tommy Tedesco .
Liner Note Author: Scott Yanow.
Recording information: Cecil's Jazz Club, W. Orange, NJ (03/14/2008/03/15/2008).
Editor: Brian Montgomery.
Arranger: Scott Reeves.
Scott Reeves is best known as a trombonist, but for these 2008 live performances, he switched to the somewhat obscure alto flügelhorn and alto valve trombone. Assembling a quintet of both seasoned and younger musicians, including veteran tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, pianist Jim Ridl, plus bassist Mike McGurk and drummer Andy Watson, Reeves' post-bop originals are challenging and ear-catching. "Shape Shifter" is one of the most demanding of the bunch, constructed upon a 12-tone row and constantly changing time signatures, featuring Perry, Ridl, and the leader on alto valve trombone. The brooding "The Soulful Mr. Williams" conveys the sense of loss that nearly everyone who encountered pianist/composer/jazz educator James Williams felt after his unexpected death from cancer in 2004; Perry, Reeves (on alto valve trombone), and Ridl excel in their solos. On the remaining tracks, the leader sticks to alto flügelhorn, which is pitched a fifth lower than the regular horn. The tense, eerie "New Bamboo" and the loping, infectious blues "Last Call" especially stand out. Recommended. ~ Ken Dryden