This album is a gem: John Swana is a trumpeter worth hearing, and Kenny Barron’s piano playing never ceases to amaze and delight. Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums play as if they were brothers (they’re not, but…) Eric Alexander on tenor and Steve Wilson on trombone shine in their allotted spaces, and each contributes a tune to the proceedings. Throughout, Swana works the ensemble through wonderfully nuanced interpretations, with dynamics and tempo shadings adding luster to each performance. Swana makes his points on the musical merits of his arguments, without any undue excursions into upper-register pyrotechnics. He flawlessly matches the needs of each piece to his fluegelhorn, open and muted trumpets. And again, not that it’s news, but this guy Kenny Barron can really play the piano.
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