Trumpeter Phil Grenadier assembles an all-star modern jazz lineup for this most entertaining effort. And it doesn’t take too long to discern, that the trumpeter and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel make for a rather formidable duo. Grenadier’s expressive and lyrically charged method of execution comes to fruition on the opener, Bud Powell’s "Borderick." Here, the trumpeter, Rosenwinkel and pianist Bill Carrothers rework the melody by way of their playful intentions
. Therefore, the looseness and verve intimated by the album title is permeated throughout this superfine program. While Phil’s brother Larry and drummer Jeff Ballard dish out the often-buoyant rhythms, whether the ensemble is engaging in mid-tempo Bop, or odd-metered, funk based grooves.
One of the striking qualities of this affair resides within the band’s easygoing gait. Yet, the musicians link up via an altogether commanding approach: one that instills an overriding sense of determination into the grand scheme of things. Many of these works are constructed upon memorable melodies in concert with the ensemble’s driving cadenzas and tuneful choruses. They also venture into free-bop and poignant balladry. Phil Grenadier even reconfigures Radiohead’s
"Idioteque," into a peppery jazz vamp, via his resonant lines and Rosenwinkel’s rhythmically oriented chop chords. It all comes together rather nicely! (A top pick for 2003)