Trumpeter Bryan Shaw delivers a confident sound filled with melodic low-register work. His imaginative ballad work is reminiscent of Bunny Berigan and Bix Beiderbecke, while his fiery individualism reflects Roy Eldridge and Ruby Braff.
Shaw's core band has the lustrous Dan Barrett on trombone plus some arrangements, innovative Brian Ogilvie on clarinet and tenor sax, inventive Dave Frishberg on piano and dynamic Jeff Hamilton on drums. Barrett and Ogilvie consistently deliver splendid solos. The ensemble is showcased best on "Accent on Youth," and on "Bean and the Boys," Coleman Hawkins' take-off on "Lover, Come Back to Me."
Many of the album's 12 tracks reach back into the '30s and '40s, which may be "new" material for some listeners. A Kansas City-style rhythm section prevails throughout, providing a strong base for now-rare renditions of "Aunt Hagar's Blues," "Panhandle Rag," "Ol' Pappy" and "I'm Comin' Virginia." Recorded during two sessions in New York and California, the tracks alternately add Bucky Pizzarelli or Eddie Erickson on guitar, Scott Robinson or Chuck Wilson on reeds, Joel Forbes or David Stone on bass, with Rebecca Kilgore on two vocals.