Personnel: Mel Martin (flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Barry Finnerty, Brad Buethe (guitar); Don Friedman (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Robb Fisher (bass instrument); Rob Fisher (bass guitar); Jeff Marrs (drums, percussion); John Santos (congas, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Mel Martin.
Liner Note Author: Mel Martin.
Recording information: Bay Records Studios, Berkeley, CA (10/13/2006-07/15/2008); Jazz At Pearl's, San Francisco, CA (10/13/2006-07/15/2008).
Editor: Mel Martin.
Multi-reed player Mel Martin touches on many different styles in this studio date, joined by veterans like keyboardist Don Friedman, bassist Rob Fisher, Latin percussionist John Santos, and others. Among the leader's originals, "Rhythm Man (Do Not Disturb" is a breezy Latin chart, while "Silly Hawk Walk" has a funky groove, both featuring electric keyboards backing his robust tenor sax. Martin overdubs multiple flutes behind his soprano in spots during his tense "To Catey with Love." He switches to flute for an intricate setting of George Russell's "Ezz-Thetic," an overlooked gem from the early 1960s that featured Eric Dolphy on the composer's recording. The one live track is a haunting take of "Blue in Green" with the leader playing soprano sax complemented by guitarist Barry Finnerty's spacious backing. While this CD resists easy classification, it is among the most compelling recordings that Mel Martin has made during his entire career. ~ Ken Dryden