Down Beat - p.733 stars out of 5
- "[A] highlight is the title track, which finds the band settling into what may be its most relaxed yet buoyant groove, it's medium-tempo gait sashaying everything in sight."
Joe Locke: Bob Cranshaw (bass instrument); Mickey Roker, Mike LeDonne.
Personnel: Joe Locke (vibraphone); Joe Locke; Mike LeDonne (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Mickey Roker (drums).
Audio Mixer: Michael Marciano.
Liner Note Author: Joe Locke.
Recording information: Ronnie Scott's, London, England (04/06/2005/04/07/2005).
Photographer: John Abbott .
Arranger: Cedar Walton.
Joe Locke was invited to join Milt Jackson's former rhythm section (pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Mickey Roker) for an engagement at Smoke in New York City that served as a tribute to the late vibraphonist. They gelled as a group and promptly booked a week at Ronnie Scott's in London, where this CD was recorded, primarily utilizing repertoire drawn from the rhythm section's days backing Jackson. Locke's blues-inflected solo in the opener, "The Prophet Speaks," and his playfulness in "Opus de Funk" are complemented by LeDonne's light touch on electric piano. Two of the charts come from Jackson's partnership with the late Ray Brown. Brown's soulful scoring of Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love" adds a tense vamp at the end of each chorus, while Locke and LeDonne (back on grand piano) dig into Brown's hard bop vehicle "Used to Be Jackson." In addition to enjoyable treatments of a pair of standards, LeDonne contributed the soulful "Rev-elation" and Locke the sauntering "Big Town." Cranshaw and Roker provide terrific support throughout the disc. This intimate live recording gives the listener a front row table at this London nightclub. ~ Ken Dryden