All Night Long
Altoist Dylan Cramer is a great admirer and a former student of the late Sonny Criss, having even dedicated his earlier CD to him. Criss' influence manifests itself most evidently in Cramer's attractive tone, which, though less intense than his model's, constitutes his strongest attribute. Indeed, Cramer's expressive readings of the several ballads on All Night Long, including the sultry "Bumpin'" and "All Night Long," the very Italianesque "Caruso" and the melody-only "My Funny Valentine," may be his finest contributions to the disc. Although the leader's chorus on the uptempo bossa nova "Clouds" stands out as his most cohesive improvisation, pianist Ron Johnston more than makes up for any shortcomings in that area with consistently well-developed solos of his own. Throughout an appealing program that contains its share of nice songs-"Lover Man," "Black Orpheus" and "Stolen Moments," among them-drummer John Nolan and bassist Steve Holy, with his booming, lingering sound, provide a dependable and perceptive backdrop.