The purity of jazz is the essence of this impressive recording. Shep Meyers has assembled a quartet of imposing talent with fresh arrangements done in a stylish bop mode.
Meyers has an interesting solo style, his right to the point message is not cluttered with a whole lot of fuss. He gets to the heart of the matter, greases up the skillet, turns on the burners and simply cooks.
Jay Migliori's shining star lives on in this album. On Ellington's "Main Stem" his tone is as clear as moonshine and just as potent. Some brisk unison with the Piano and Tenor opens this tune followed by a fiery Sax solo that will orbit in the listeners ear for many a moon. Let it be said that Jay Migliori on this tune is the epitome of swing. It gets no better than this. Shep Meyer's solo was filled with original ideas and his comping was artistically flawless. Bassist Dave Curtis' rapid fire solo really got my attention, this was not what one usually expects from this instrument, it was simply breathtaking in its presentation. The torrent of notes were coherent not just mindless flurries. I would like to hear more of this talented artist.
The soulful side of Migliori and Meyers was nicely showcased on "Lament" .. A tender piano intro followed by Migliori's somewhat dark musings captured the intent of J.J. Johnson's theme of lament.
"Skylark" has a lovely melody and Jay Migliori pays homage to it in a most respectful way. Meyer's skillfully catches the mood set by the Tenor. This tune was beautifully performed by all.
There is a lot of meat and potatoes in "Walkin" featuring a clever Monkish solo by Shep Meyers, who incorporates his own distinctive discourse into the Monk spirit he engenders (on this piece). Jay Migliori's bluesy side is again exhibited as he goes right to the heart of hip. A nice walking Bass and fine Drum work by Danny Campbell are the final ingredients that get this tune off the ground and into the stratosphere.
This recording is a superb example of mainstream jazz at its very best. It is from a limited collection and can be purchased by visiting Shep's website.