A pretty straightforward, high energy, 45-minute set from Jemeel Moondoc's pet project, one that has remained criminally under-recorded over the years. The lineup is impressive, with Moondoc on alto and conducting, Zane Massey on tenor, Michael Marcus on baritone, Roy Campbell and Nathan Breedlove on trumpet, Steve Swell and Tyron Hill on trombone, Bern Nix on guitar, John Voigt on bass, and Gerald Cleaver on drums.
Of the four tracks, the slow blues, "The Blue Dog-Blues for Earl Cross," allows the soloists the most room to stretch out, with incendiary solos by Campbell and Nix. The other three tracks feature yeoman work by Voigt, with a magisterial sound, he and Cleaver setting up a roiling rhythm over which the reed and brass sections riff against the soloists' statements.
Overall, the album is quite enjoyable on it own terms, terms that were first laid out by people like Count Basie 60-odd years ago. The details have changed over the years, but the template remains much the same. It ain't baroque, so there's no need to fix it.
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