It takes real talent to pick up a baritone saxophone and make it sing, not to mention swing! An unwieldy bear in lesser hands, only a few have made the instrument their sole axe during the course of jazz history and an even smaller number currently make it their sax of choice, most notably Ronnie Cuber, Gary Smulyan, Scott Robinson, and Nick Brignola. The latter has been on the scene since the '60s with a blustery style that recalls Pepper Adams' hard bop flights of fancy, but with a mature ballad side that hints at the sonorous tones of Harry Carney.
Brignola began to lead a venerable series of dates for the Reservoir label in 1988, with ALL BUSINESS being his ninth effort overall. Anyone doubting Brignola's technical mastery need do no more than skip to the second track, Sonny Rollins' be-bop opus "Pent-Up House," to witness the saxophonist tearing the tune apart at the seems while exploring the entire range the baritone horn has to offer. It's also an all-out "burn" with "Fast Food," an up tempo cooker that also sports Billy Hart's incendiary drumming.
Always one to avoid cliches, Brignola has varied format and supporting players with each release and ALL BUSINESS is remarkable in that aspect, featuring a rare appearance from the legendary vibist Dave Pike. The rhythm section in turn, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Billy Hart, proves to be highly compatible and supportive throughout, making this one of Brignola's best releases in recent memory.