This is perhaps one of the most relaxing jazz sets I've heard in a long time. These musicians are so in tune with each other, not trying to outplay and overplay the other. A really peaceful cooperative is a good description.
Eddie Marshall, drummer supreme; it's no wonder he's in demand. The first two tracks "Holy Mischief" and "Monsieur de Charles," are notable more for the sidemen, Kenny Brooks' tender, but impressive sax and Paul Nagel's work on piano which shines. Nagel reminds me of Jody Christian (supported many of Eddie Harris' sessions). Marshall gets into real gear on "Remember When," ironically, the only composition that he can't claim credit.... it belongs to Nagel. "Luna Nueva," finds Marshall and Jeff Chambers providing some very sensual undertones for Brooks' tenor to seduce our ears.
Marshall and company strike a different vibe on "Sue Jeanius." It's got more contemporary, rather than classic structures.... Well, it's funky with a load of energy to boot. You can hear Marshall on alto recorder on "Dreams That Dance," and "Monsieur de Charles," but "Dreams" is hypnotic and quite deep. We thank Marshall's cardiologist for more than one reason, but this could lure a listener more than the Pied Piper. "Too Much Romance".... maybe, but there's a lot packed into this track. Chambers burns his bass and Marshall is in step every inch of the way with some fancy "footwork."
We get back to the funk with "The Bridges of Terrell County." It reminds me of some of Grover Washington's session work in the early seventies. This is just too much of a "summertime" jam. Marshall isn't stuck in any one groove and considering the difficulty drummers face in being recognized as bandleaders, this is essential. "Wildwood" burns with an "intellectual" smoke blowing through. It's not too cerebral to enjoy and this is one of Brooks' finest performances on sax.
Marshall composed all but one track ("Remember When") included here. The West Coast group gives a performance that's lively, reserved, classy and soulful. Marshall has had it for a long time, and the jazz world knows it. Don't miss this one. If jazz be your food of choice.... eat on!