These four musicians (pianist Rob Mullins, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Roberts, bassist David Levray, drummer Evan Stone) have spent most of their playing time in such genres as smooth-jazz and rock and R&B, occasionally indulging in crowd-pleasing tricks. On “Moanin’,” Roberts honks and croaks like a bar-walker and Mullins forces some manic pummeling licks. But they also they take on substantial jazz repertory items like “Giant Steps,” and do not embarrass themselves. The three ballads (“In a Sentimental Mood,” “Angel Eyes,” “When I Fall in Love”) are tense with the expectancy created when hard blowers play soft.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.