When drummer Josh Feldstein joined forces with tenor saxophonist Jon Blanck to form the Verve Jazz Ensemble back in 2006, the band was a quartet. Over the intervening years that foursome expanded and morphed, eventually becoming a septet for several tracks on 2018’s Connect the Dots. The growth and change has only intensified since then, as this group’s sixth album showcases half a dozen configurations across 10 numbers.
Opening with the title track, the first of several hard-bop happenings, the full force of the septet is on display. The ensemble deftly shifts from swing to Latin, putting a four-horn front line to good use and leaving space for strong and concise solos. Making the most of its assets and possibilities, this version of the group appears four more times—on Joe Morello’s jumping “Drumorello,” the spicy and funky “Per Your Request,” a fusion-dusted “Hypnosis,” and the Tommy Dorsey-associated “Opus One.”