Most of the tunes are from the Basie book, including five by Green. The mood is easy-going swing, blending understatement with top-drawer musicianship. You'll know you're in Basieland right from the opener - a laid-back version of Dizzy's "Groovin' High." Mancini's "Dreamsville" is treated with tenderness by Bunch while Vaché shines on "Centerpiece," a favorite of Edison's. Bucky contributes one of his few single note solos.
The group fits right into the Basie favorites, from Green's "Corner Pocket" to "All of Me." Bunch's light touch and sparse style, flavored with a few Basie bass licks, is exactly what is called for and, like Basie, can he comp! Those notes are placed just where they should be. Unlike his predecessor, Bucky gets plenty of solo space, and, as always, performs with rhythm and taste. Vaché's relaxed and creative solos deserve a second listen. His contribution to Quincy Jones' wistful "For Lena and Lenny" is eloquent. The salute to Green winds up with an up tempo "Lester Leaps In" where everyone leaps!
The liner notes by Michael Pettersen provide informative insights into Green's playing technique and his musical career.
A well-deserved and well-played tribute to an unsung master. Enjoy!