Although especially marked by the doubling capacities of the principals -Barrett on trombone and trumpet and Baker on tenor and alto saxes and cornet-this date also benefits from the presence on three tracks of veteran Australian cornetist Rob Barnard, a longtime legend in his own right. Rounding out this 1994 Sydney session with exemplary world-class skills are pianist Chris Tappereli, guitarist Ian Date, bassist Don Heap and drummer Lynn Wallis, names new to America right now but likely to become more well-known in the future.
Mainstream combo swing is the keynote here, as is evidenced by the playlist: Hank Jones' "Vignette," a swinging, medium-tempoed line on "Sweet Sue" changes first recorded by Coleman Hawkins and Buck Clayton in 1958; Sir Charles Thompson's 1954 "Fore!" and "Dynaflow," also from a date featuring Hawk; a slow, early Basie blues, "Nobody Knows;" Pete Rugolo's boppish line for the 1949 Metronome All Stars session, "Overtime;" Gene Ammons' house-rockin' "Jug" and Trummy Young's "Honeysuckle Rose"-based swing classic, "Through For The Night," notable for Baker's and Barrett's solos on alto and trumpet. In addition, there are also the choice standards: "Then I'll Be Tired Of You," a ballad feature for Barrett's smooth, melodic trombone; the semi-jammed, three-horn "After I Say I'm Sorry;" Barnard's ballad showcase on "It's Like Reaching For The Moon;" the two cornet/trumpet jam on "That's A Plenty;" Baker's cozy alto feature on "Indian Summer" and "Oh, Lady Be Good!," which is primarily notable for the tenor/trombone restatement of Pres' original 1936 choruses. The originals are Baker's "See If I Don't," a swinging romp through "'Deed I Do" changes, and Barrett's "Just Ducky," another play on words and changes for "Fine And Dandy." Both lines are worthy additions to the repertoires of like-minded musicians and bands, as is this recording to the collections of all those who still enjoy classic combo swing.