No pretense here—just a very enjoyable straightahead session, with the accent on excellent solo work. There are head arrangements in places, but nothing elaborate. Besides, it might distract from the basic purpose: to swing their fannies off on five standards, two originals and some seldom-heard lines by Thad Jones, Buddy Johnson and Joe’s iconic dad, Al Cohn.
Joe Cohn is a hard-driving but always tasteful guitarist who has apparently listened to Joe Pass, Tal Farlow, Jim Hall and Herb Ellis—and whatever musician he’s playing with. One of the highlights of the album is a rhythm-free duologue with altoist Dmitry Baevsky, “I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone.” Cohn’s accompaniment is instinctive. So is his musical sense of humor. His quote from Irving Berlin’s “They Say It’s Wonderful” seems to be squeezed in sideways during the very end of his solo on “Too Marvelous for Words.” “Restless” is reminiscent of Benny Goodman’s closing theme, the depressingly haunting “Goodbye.” The Harry Warren fossil, “Shadow Waltz,” is born again as an up-tempo bossa, and “Come Love” features the trading of ideas between Baevsky and guest tenorist Harry Allen, kicked off at an ideally bright tempo.