Personnel: Tom Harrell (trumpet, flugelhorn); Benny Aronov (piano); Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone); Joe Labarbera (drums).
Liner Note Author: Lee Konitz.
Recording information: Macdonald Studio, Sea Cliff, NY (09/1978).
Photographer: Gerry MacDonald.
Arranger: Benny Aronov.
Benny Aronov was in his mid-forties at the time of this 1978 session, yet it was surprisingly only his second recording as a leader, even though he had long since established himself as a fixture on the New York jazz scene. Contributing all of the arrangements, the pianist brought in the seasoned veteran valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, rising star Tom Harrell (on trumpet and flugelhorn), as well as bassist Buster Williams and drummer Joe La Barbera for the date. Although Aronov is a talented soloist in his own right, he frequently stays in the background, instead showcasing Brookmeyer and Harrell. There's great interplay between the horns and the leader in the brisk chart of Billy Strayhorn's "U.M.M.G.," though Brookmeyer takes top solo honors in Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood." The originals are also of interest. Aronov's hard bop blues march "Marchons" and his up-tempo "Shadow Box" would easily fit in the repertoire of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Harrell's "Water's Edge" is a more subtle post-bop composition, blending his flugelhorn with Brookmeyer's masterful trombone. Originally issued by Choice and also briefly available on the long-defunct Inner City, this out-of-print LP is well-worth acquiring by fans of post-bop. ~ Ken Dryden