Drummer Mat Marucci returns to recording after a seven-year hiatus with a challenging lineup of originals and standards that sparkle with swing, clarity, and invention.
The opening title tune by Marucci sets the tone for the recording, with the soprano of Doug Webb positively in orbit, pianist Biff Hannon cruising infectiously, and some great bass work from Bob Maize. The cut lets everyone shine and previews the musicianship to come, including Webb again jazzing up Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do" and his meaty soloing on Mingus' "Reincarnation of a Lovebird." Other cuts feature performances by avant-garde saxophonist John Tchicai, pianist Aaron Garner, and Al Bent on bass.
Several cuts are in the trio format, sans Webb, with Marucci's deft touch never overpowering or bombastic. Monk's "Rhythm-a-ning" has Mat really percolating, and Hefti's "Li'l Darling" is totally unique, with Maize enjoying himself immensely.
This is one solid recording that deserves to be heard and certainly will be enjoyed.