is pianist Dana Landry's initial solo album effort. A regular in the Denver, Colorado jazz scene as well as director of jazz studies at the University of Northern Colorado, Landry is also the recipient of a 1994 Downbeat award for outstanding jazz soloist.
The CD, recorded three years ago while Landry was based in Nashville, finds him in good company including long time associate Erik Applegate on bass, and star vibraphonist Gary Burton, one of Landry's outstanding musical mentors.
Although Landry's quintet is solid musically, the group seems to lose a bit of intensity on the two ballads included in the set, Maria Schneider's "Journey Home" and Landry's "Deerhead Sketches." However, the group rallies on the standards, notably their spirited rendition of "All of You."
The original compositions of bassist Erik Applegate are invigorating, particularly the up-tempo "1, 2, 3." Another album highlight is the duet between Burton and Landry on James Williams' tune "Soulful Bill," which gives Landry opportunity to display his award-winning solo chops.
Saxophonist Don Aliquo mates the soprano and tenor instruments to the appropriate selections and lays down some good Coltrane-inspired playing, while drummer Chris Brown keeps the band cooking in a firm but non-intrusive fashion.
The liner notes to "Journey Home" also point out that jazz critic Bill Milkowski named Dana Landry as a "talent deserving wider recognition." Hopefully this good debut CD is a step in that direction.