"Li'l Duke's Strut," adds pizzazz to jazz and is a fascinating interplay of forces. This upbeat blues tempo that make heads bop, fingers snap and feet tap contrasts the differences between joy and sadness. And, in the spirit is played soulfully as it swings out with intense feeling.
The interaction that takes place between the musicians on this particular piece is enchanting and is obviously written with these players in mind. Thus, giving them the extraordinary opportunity to show off their talents. Pianist, Anthony Wonsey creates fantastic harmonic improvisations and becomes a "professor" as he skillfully adapts to the intense phrasing of the blowers. The mobility of drummer, Adonis Rose is quite amazing. His sound is vividly illuminating and swing is through, carrying and serving the musical happenings. The electric impulses that jazz bassist, Reuben Rogers dispenses gives the band rhythmic-harmonic compactness while saxophonist, Tim Warfield obtains liquid mobility and soulful expressiveness. And then there is Nicholas, a true trumpet stylist who has won many fans with his full sound, polished technique and musical scholarship, delivering high pitched tones and melodic attacks with the same symphonic arcs of Miles Davis and the inferno of Dizzy Gillespie.
Other favorite tunes on the CD are the jazzy rendition of the old school recording "People Make The World Go Round" by the Stylistics and "Concentric Circles." Both pieces display the instrumentalists skill and versatility and are full of color, texture, and surprises.
Occasionally, innovators come up. "Payton's Place" is not just a joyous recognition of marvelous musical mixtures and extended compositions, but an example of technique and craftsmanship. Let's not take this one for granted.