Cleveland native Samuels leads this smoking session that features heavy hitters Dan Wall (a frequent collaborator with John Abercrombie) on Hammond B3 organ and Greg Osby on alto sax. Samuels is a seasoned, swinging, longstanding accompanist with keenly interactive instincts. He reacts here to the ebb and flow of Osby’s pungent, twisting alto lines and Wall’s harmonically advanced, Larry Young-style B3 wailing on clever arrangements of Thelonious Monk’s “Trinkle Tinkle” and “Ruby My Dear,” Frank Foster’s “Simone,” Ornette Coleman’s “The Blessing” and Wayne Shorter’s “ESP.”
Jamey Haddad adds percussive coloring on fresh, rhythmically inventive interpretations of John Coltrane’s “Naima” and Wayne Shorter’s “Fall” (both featuring Osby on soprano sax). Samuels also shows his deft touch and adeptness at metric modulation on his stirring title track. From start to finish, this stimulating disc is full of audacious risk-taking and forward-thinking energy. It’s a must for adventurous listeners, organ aficionados and connoisseurs of hip.