They are young. Already large. And the head crowned with laurels many (first price RéZZo Focal Jazz à Vienne and Jazz Springboard La Defense in particular). But this time, the case escalates to Uptake who published his first album So Far So Good at Jazz Village. Bursting with energy and groove, this quartet from the Lyon scene is already a master in the art of interplay, the accomplice way to circulate and combine all the music in freedom … A four Bastien Brison piano and Rhodes, Pierre Gibbe on bass, trombone and Robinson Khoury Paul Bern on drums built a repertoire consisting essentially of compositions they say influenced the new generation of American musicians like Jason Lindner, Robert Glasper or Robin Eubanks.
Wessell Anderson is a big-toned alto saxophonist of generous spirit and above-average skill, who obviously admires the late Cannonball Adderley a great deal. This album's opening track, "Sunday Souful Supper," comes off as virtual Cannonball, with the equally rotund younger altoist serving heaping portions of red beans and rice, Adderley-style. The record as a whole is a hard-bop (re)hash and well-played.
Except for one other recording, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook's two Muse albums were his only opportunities to lead his own record dates during the 1962-1987 period. 1979's Good Cookin' (played by a septet including trombonist Slide Hampton, trumpeter Bill Hardman, baritonist Mario Rivera, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Leroy Williams) and 1981's Somethin's Cookin' (a high-quality quartet showcase for Cook with pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Billy Higgins) are reissued in full on this single CD, except for four alternate takes from the latter date that were included on Muse's original CD reissue.
At times, McDuff demonstrates how soul-jazz organ stars used to make albums back in their '60s heyday, playing then-current pop hits like "The Age of Aquarius" and the theme from Mission: Impossible (which, thanks to cinema, was a hit all over again in 1996 when this CD was made). We also hear McDuff trying out his vocal cords for the first time on Louis Jordan's "Saturday Night Fish Fry"; actually, he merely talks the lyrics over the rhythm section – and at 70, he's entitled to this charming lark.