This seven-piece group proves versatile as well as tight. Under the direction of Terrell Stafford, they manage to create a large sound, while still maintaining the intimacy that creates a cozy, inviting listening atmosphere.
This collection certainly runs the gamut of the jazz genre with originals, classics and unique and interesting arrangements to boot.
The title track, "Room 323," written by drummer, Chris Beck, is beautifully arranged. This one really swings and saxophonists, Jon Katz and Wally Bechtold, playing off one another leading to Tim Thompson’s splashing trumpet solo are marvelously exhilarating.
"Here’s That Rainy Day" provides pianist, Luke O’Reilly, a solid platform to strike keys and accent the theme with precision and charm.
"Never The Less," is misty, delicious and achingly sulky. "Just You, Just Me," "With a Song in My Heart" and "All of Me" are lively and spirited as Dena Underwood’s sweet voice carries the band through. Her radiance is marked by the slightest hint of coy confidence that produces sheer verve.
Thompson’s "Blues for Biggs" is another killer. Thompson absolutely flies on trumpet and Greg Snyder on guitar is delightful. There are also some excellent drum and bass solos, compliments of Justin Carney and Chris Beck, on this one as well.
The last track is an amazing version of Sonny Rollins’ "Airegin." Tim Thompson’s arrangement on this one is splendid.Room 323 is an exemplary compilation showcasing the many strong talents in this band - a tremendous effort!