Back in the Mix
Tenor saxophonist-composer Dan Wilensky demonstrates bold tones and a swaggering intensity on his fourth outing as a leader. On the driving title track he engages in some heated exchanges with trumpeter Russ Johnson and pianist Mark Soskin, while the rhythm tandem of bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tony Moreno stokes the flames. The loping “Hand in Hand” features another potent tenor solo by Wilensky, who blows forcefully in all registers. Wilensky and Johnson make formidable frontline partners on the brisk waltz-time swinger “Here,” which also features a marvelous piano solo by Soskin. After blowing robustly on the surging, Latin-tinged “Just Happy,” the leader settles into some soulful testifying on “After All Is Said and Done.” Other high points: a meditative take on J.J. Johnson’s “Lament” and a boppish romp through “Falling in Love With Love,” the latter boasting a showstopping drum solo from Moreno.