This 1988 studio date is one of the overlooked treasures in the considerable discography of Jim Hall, possibly due to the label's low-key promotion and less than eye-catching cover art. It is easy to understand why artists like Art Farmer and Paul Desmond omitted a pianist after hearing a release such as this one, because it would only clutter Hall's soft yet complete accompaniment. Joined by Tom Harrell (heard mostly on flügelhorn), bassist Steve LaSpina, and drummer Joey Baron, this CD is a delight from start to finish. The interaction of the musicians in the opener, a lively, waltzing "With a Song in My Heart," makes it sound like they have been a working unit for years.
On his third Denon release Berg ventures into a few jazz standards while maintaining a strong hold on his fusion roots. Jim Beard is featured on keyboards.
"Described by the Boston Globe's Michael Manning as a musician who plays "beyond virtuosity," guitarist Sharon Isbin has been a consistent challenge for critics, who struggle to find the right superlative that would do justice to her exquisite playing. "In her hands," wrote Anne Midgette in The New York Times, "the guitar takes on the precision of a diamond, each note a clear, shining facet that catches, prism-like, a glimpse of the spectrum." In essence, a performance by Isbin is like a painting by Vermeer: a formally impeccable and inexhaustible work of art."
To most listeners, Jeff Berlin is utterly unknown as a musician and composer; to progressive rock enthusiasts, however, Berlin is a god, ranked alongside Jaco Pastorious and Victor Wooten as one of the most exciting virtuoso bassists ever. Crossroads compiles his first two albums, Pump It! and Champion, into a single-disc "greatest hits" of sorts, although neither album had much impact beyond jazz-rock circles.