This is more Michael than Maynard , so don't expect a lot of Maynard flying high above Big Bop Nouveau. The little/big BBN -which always sounded big - was augmented to actual big band proportions for this Concord Jazz date. (One of the additions was Bobby Shew ) They still swing -more in the laid back Basie style- and are given plenty of playing room.Arrangers are key to this CD. Patrick Williams contributes a rousing "Close Your Eyes " opener and Tom Garling (of BBN )a swinging "Let Me Off Uptown " ." The Very Thought of You ", arranged by Alan Broadbent ,starts like Thornhill and is then taken sky high by Maynard. Mort Lindsay's " Girl Talk " and "You Can't Lose Them All "are relaxed a la Count. Most of the tunes were scored by Eddie Karam who was involved in the recent Diana Krall/ Johnny Mandel release.. His highlights are a low-key "The One I Love Belongs ......." his treatment of BG's "Lullaby in Rhythm "complete with appropriate quotes , and the "Lover has Gone" "Gal Who Got Away " medley.
Feinstein demonstrates his facility with the American songbook throughout.He is particularly effective on his own two "Rhythm of the Blues "and "Swing is Back in Style "and does a great "New York , New York ""(fortunately the Bernstein tune).He closes , alone with his piano ,with a sensitive reading of Hoagy's "How Little We Know ".
What could have been an odd couple pairing is actually a very successful collaboration along the lines of the historic Basie/Sinatra sessions .