Bassist David Finck’s first-call session status in jazz and pop circles amid a long-running stint with pianist/composer Andre Previn equates to a busy and rather storied career. With his debut effort as a leader, the artist shines radiantly, which is a facet that also applies to the crystalline sonic characteristics of this buoyant program.
Pianist Tom Ranier and vibist Joe Locke generate tons of fun here. Amid delightful melodies coupled with sure-fired swing and bop grooves, the band perpetuates an air of optimism throughout. But its Finck’s beefy lines, impeccable time and fluid workmanship that serves as the bonding factor in tandem with drummer Joe La Barbera’s up-tempo metrics. With cool, sleek textures and interweaving dialogues, the band aides by a get-up-and-go demeanor, regardless of cadence or dynamics. They sweeten the pot some, during the tender ballad "For All We Know," while guest musicians, saxophonist Bob Sheppard and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt help generate a broad sound on select tracks.
Piano great Cedar Walton’s lovely composition "Firm Roots," features a memorable hook, where La Barbera stretches during the bridge then guides the band back into the primary theme for the finale. No filler material here as Finck’s commanding presence instills the required oomph and underpinning for a set that is rooted within top-notch arrangements. In sum, it’s one of those modern-mainstream jaunts that warrant repeated listens.