There is no doubt that Carl Saunders is the premier jazz trumpeter in the world today. His solos are effortlessly presented, yet the content is note perfect. His range far exceeds any of his peers. The phrases are not merely a run of 16ths., nor are they mindless. Saunders is a pure melodic expressionist,
Carl Saunders makes it look easy with his relaxed stage presence, and that ease is certainly carried over on this recording. This trumpet virtuoso has both power and soul, and on ballads there is sensitivity in every note. As an instrumentalist Saunders is without equal. He is a true jazz player in every sense of the word.
Phil Urso's full tenor sound complements Saunders perfectly and his solos are well constructed gems. His masculine tone is the perfect counterpart to the power of Saunders.
On the exchanges Saunders is merciless, but Urso holds his own and answers in kind.
A veteran of the jazz wars and also Chet Baker, Urso has earned his place as a jazz contributor of major importance.
Every tune is a winner, but Al Haig's "Jumpin' Off A Clef" is five minutes and thirty nine seconds of absolute unadulterated bop at its best...The unison work between Urso and Saunders is flawless..the four and two bar exchanges are clever and inventive. The Mairzy Doats quote by Saunders flew in and had me grinning like a hungry man with a plate of fried chicken. This tune is number one on the disc and serves notice that there is a lot of great jazz to follow.
Keith Waters at the piano, Colin Grieg on bass, and Paul Romaine on drums ably backed the two horns and all three are to be congratulated for their fine support.
Maybe this album should be a salute to Urso and Saunders instead of Chet Baker.
It will never get any better than this, only different.