Matt Haviland : Beyond Good and Evil

The debut release from veteran sideman Matt Haviland crackles with eager excitement, both in the bustling original compositions and in the leader’s percolating trombone solos. Haviland is clearly energized by his quintet, which packs some star power in saxophonist Vincent Herring, pianist Benny Green, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Gene Jackson. But beyond the snappy ensemble work, Haviland’s expressive command and eloquent phrasing are unerringly on target, while his crisp tunes and arrangements give his small group the suggestion of a stripped-down big band.