This quintet session pairs young lions (and New Orleans natives) Davis and Nicholas Payton with veterans Hank Jones (piano) and Ron Carter (bass) and slightly younger veteran Lewis Nash (drums). The performances recall the late '50s and early '60s: Davis' alto saxophone, typically, is in a Cannonball Adderley bag, and Payton's trumpet suggests Clifford Brown and early Freddie Hubbard. The hornmen are thoughtful improvisers; both are masters of solo construction, with no loose ends and no fumbling phrases.
Davis wrote six of the tunes. His lyrical "Portrait Of Desiree" and bright "You Never Know" are particularly attractive. The other tunes include the standards "You've Changed" (excellent wistful balladry by the alto man) and "If I Should Lose You" and Oliver Nelson's "Six And Four."
The rhythm section adds its mature seasoning to the date and the performances flow neatly and logically. A fine album all the way. - Owen Cordle