The opening strains of Jim Rotondi’s "The Nomad" bring to mind a Cedar Walton line. You know, the kind that you’d find on those old Prestige records or possibly on an Art Blakey Blue Note set. Specifically, this jazz of the hard bop variety is the kind of music that is easy to listen to all day long without strain. On the surface there’s a catchy rhythm, but moving in deeper you’ll find solos of great interest and vitality. That’s what makes this reviewer always greet with much anticipation the latest endeavors of the band One For All, a crack team of dazzling instrumentalists who have made a commitment to getting together every once in awhile for a record date of no nonsense jazz of the swinging variety. Each one of these men has more than enough work to keep them busy on their own, so it’s a testament to how much joy they must get in working together that they all keep One For All high on their priority lists.Wide Horizons
could arguably be called the band’s best effort to date, chock full as it is with bristling music and ear catching solos. Just check out Eric Alexander’s strong showing on "Nemesis" to see why he’s become on the most celebrated tenor men of his generation. As for trumpeter Jim Rotondi, he’s a little dynamo who regularly eats up changes with all the tenacity of a young Freddie Hubbard. Trombonist Steve Davis, affectionately known as "Stevie D" among his friends, not only has a strong sense of the jazz trombone tradition but also remains one of the premier jazz composers of this era. As for David Hazeltine, Peter Washington, and Joe Farnsworth, words inadequately describe the kind of camaraderie and musical empathy that they have developed over countless gigs.
There’s much to enjoy here and no real need to provide a blow-by-blow for each track. Suffice it to say the originals are unique, the updates of a few standards are quite worthwhile, and everyone plays at the top of their game. What more could you ask of a record?