Bruce Barth, piano; Terell Stafford, trumpet and flugelhorn; Steve Wilson, alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet; Adam Kolker, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Sam Newsome, soprano saxophone; Ugonna Okegwo, bass; Al Foster, drums
The estimable Mr Barth. The man is a man of virtue, very much a man to please the minds of piano connoisseurs everywhere. One reads elsewhere that he is "mellifluous," which is all right as far as it goes, but Barth is more than just the honey man. With so much blowing going on the piano is very much a part of the rhythm section here, but his solos show appropriate attack. The section work is exemplary for this is a band of pros in every sense of the word. The musical weave is finely spun, a joy to behold in the racing, chasing rhythms. Then Barth does Monk, solo. The accents are all there and executed with absolute respect. One could wish for a Barth solo album in this vein. Quite enchanting. Arlen and Mercer's My Shining Hour is as pretty as it gets. They finish with another Monk number, Letts Call This, and Barth makes it all his own. Al Foster is, well, Al Foster, one of the very best drummers around, and he really has been around. A gorgeous record. Buy!
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