What is accomplished with just three instruments (trumpet, guitar, and bass) reflects the strength of the musicians. George Rabbai is a trumpet master who toured and recorded extensively with the Woody Herman orchestra during the eighties. Both he and guitarist Brian Betz are associated with the Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz at Rowan University in New Jersey.
From the relatively unadorned blues, "Bluebird," to the high-intensity "Scrapple," Rabbai varies the musical flavor and salutes Miles through the use of a variety of cup, bucket and Harmon mutes. He and Betz are very much together on the tricky unison opening and closing choruses and both solo with dexterity. Bop without a drummer demands strong support by the bassist, and Steve Varner is just right. On "Half Nelson" the group is augmented by Jon Barnes, a promising young trumpeter.
Today's bebop ... and very tasty.