Alto saxophonist Dave Glasser brings in his former teacher, Barry Harris, and frequent employer, Clark Terry, as sidemen on Uh! Oh!-though his own playing is the focus of this engaging CD. Glasser leans toward Johnny Hodges, particularly in the blues and ballads, but he knows the bop canon too. He gives evidence of that in five tracks with Terry and, even more dramatically, in a joust with guest trumpeter Roy Hargrove on Glasser's "Bye-Yard." Glasser and Hargrove, on flugelhorn, improvise so movingly together there and in their solos on the ballad "Charise" that further collaboration seems in order.
Trombonist Benny Powell and tenor saxophonist Frank Wess, full of wisdom and uncliched ideas, come aboard for several pieces, including septet versions of Billy Strayhorn's "The Intimacy of the Blues" and Ellington's "Blue Rose." Glasser arranged both pieces with intriguing voicings and, in "Blue Rose," countermelodies. Bassist Peter Washington and the eternally youthful drummer Curtis Boyd join pianist Harris to form a solid rhythm section. Harris' solo and his interaction with Glasser's alto on "52nd Street Theme" remind us that one of the most incisive bop pianists is still in top form. Glasser employs a sunny, slightly dry tone perfectly suited to his bossa nova, "A Touch of Kin." As for Terry, he may fall back on proven routines like his trumpet-flugelhorn chases with himself and variations on his beloved "Pony Boy" quote, but he finds the harmonic heart of everything he plays, and in this recording he puts together melody lines whose beauty and invention can astound the listener