Carl Saunders goes beyond being an accomplished Trumpet player, he is an artist of impeccable taste and ability, recognized by his peers and, certainly by this writer, as the premier player on his instrument in the jazz idiom.
Phil Woods with his patented Charlie Parker sound has been a mainstay in the jazz genre for years and his contributions have been monumental.
"Walkin' Bass" finds Woods with a more personal approach as he stretches out with a raucous solo that cooks like a New Orleans chef on fat Tuesday. Saunders breezes in effortlessly with endless breathtaking phrases that adds the spice to an already hot mix being stirred up. The rhythm section keeps the burners at the right temperature, enhancing the brilliance of the Saunders and Woods soliloquies.
"Mr. Lucky" is a Saunders' arrangement and his solo highlights this gem with a searing trumpet message. Phil Woods follows with some tasty thoughts of his own.
"Sorta Blue" captures the pensive mood of both artists in a tune arranged by Eric Fankhauser. Always the melodic player, Saunders shines like the Northern Lights and Woods struts and lopes along in his Parker bag. Nice unison work by both featured players.
This is a can't miss album that makes the most of two dynamic musicians, a great rhythm section and compositions by the genius of Henry Mancini.