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Bassist Charles Fambrough gathered together a rather impressive lineup of young greats (including on various cuts trumpeters Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove, saxophonists Branford Marsalis and Joe Ford, keyboardist Kenny Kirkland, drummer Jeff Watts, and three percussionists) for a set of tricky hard bop originals. The interplay between the two Marsalises on the rapid "Broksi" is a high point, but the solos throughout the date are uniformly strong. Fambrough (who contributed seven of the pieces) stated accurately that the music reflects his periods with McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, Grover Washington, Jr., and Airto. His well-conceived set is highly recommended.
Jamaican-born bluesman Kirkland has always stretched the boundaries of his music and on this outing moves further into contemporary waters. Guest stars abound on this album, and Kirkland's idiosyncratic guitar work is answered and abetted by appearances from Tab Benoit, Sonny Landreth, Kenny Neal, Cub Koda, Christine Ohlman and G.E. Smith, as well as driving work from drummer Jaimoe and organist Richard Bell. The material is all over the road, but particularly noteworthy as highlights are Kirkland's take on Elmore James' "Done Somebody Wrong," "Snake In the Grass," "Nightgirl," and the title track.