Bob Florence is a Pianist of unequalled harmonic virtuosity, as well as a composer and arranger of both sensitivity and power. Florence brings a mystical romanticism on the one hand and a driving potency on the other. In a word he is the sine qua non of this marvelous recording. He has assembled the finest musicians in the world and they respond brilliantly as a unit and individually.
A Grammy winner, coupled with 14 Grammy nominations and 2 Emmy awards serve to remind the listener of his distinguished career and enormous contribution to the music we call Jazz.
Basie, Kenton, Quincy, Brother Ray Charles, and the Tonight Show are among the recipients of both his pen and pianistic mastery.
Get ready for the ride of your life.
"Dukeisms"..The Guitar of Larry Kooonse opens with this up tempo gem, Koonse's dexterity and skill paves the way for the bands entry like a musical tornado. Jeff Driskill's Tenor and Kim Richmond's (Alto) are the final touch in this ode to Edward Kennedy Ellington on the 100th. anniversary of his birth.
"Nerve Endings" This tune walks and struts like a Drum Major in a Mardi Gras parade. Everyone has a say in matters, paving the way for Carl Saunders grand entrance. Saunders is the non pareil among Trumpet players, and here he is with his usual flair cascading notes in an exhibition of melodic beauty and dynamic ideation. Tom Peterson's evocative Tenor solo adds the final touch to this fiery Florence composition.
"Chelsea Bridge" Bob Florence's touch and unparalleled keyboard sensitivity is the precursor for the Trombones of Charlie Loper (laying down the melody) with a sonorous tone, followed by Bob McChesney's inspiring jazz solo.
"Running With Scissors" Showcases Ron Stout's reflective Trumpet solo which builds to monumental proportions under his skillful artistry. Stout is a musician who has had a major impact in the jazz world and on this writer in particular.
"Never Let Me Go" will get the attention of every Piano player who listens to the aesthetic and emotional stimuli engendered by Florence in this solo offering. It is delicate in style and powerful in the message inherent in its posh presentation. A brief phrase in tribute to Duke is cleverly alluded to in this Livingston / Evans piece.
"Q&A" features the muted Trumpet of Steve Huffsteter in his stylish and expressive mode behind a backdrop of orchestral brilliance.
"Whatever Bubbles Up" was inspired by Mike Myers riposte to Barbara Walters query about his future plans..Ron Stout's Trumpet solo shines like a beacon in the night. The fluidity and ease with which he generates phrases are remarkable in beauty and most importantly substance.
Larry Koonse on Guitar, Dick Weller, Drums and Trey Henry Bass comprise a rhythm so attuned to this extraordinary recording that one might say that it is the perfect kicker in an intoxicating libation.
This album is a true work of art celebrating the genius of Bob Florence once again.