JazzTimes - 02/04, p.118
"Musicianship throughout the album is top-notch....Trumpeter Bobby Shew plays with characteristic warmth and wit."
Personnel: Bill Cunliffe (piano); Bob Sheppard (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, flute, clarinet); Bobby Shew (trumpet, flugelhorn); Justin Ray (flugelhorn); Bruce Paulson (trombone); Jeff D'Angelo (bass); Joe La Barbera (drums).
Recorded at the Bakery, North Hollywood, California.
Composer: Earl Zindars.
Personnel: Bill Cunliffe (piano); Bob Sheppard (flute, alto flute, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Bobby Shew (trumpet, flugelhorn); Justin Ray (flugelhorn); Bruce Paulson (trombone); Joe La Barbera (drums).
Audio Mixer: Talley Sherwood.
Recording information: The Bakery Recording Studio, N. Hollywood, CA (2003).
Author: Bill Cunliffe.
Photographer: Brian Krasnoff.
Arranger: Bill Cunliffe.
Earl Zindars is a talented but obscure songwriter who is best known for a few songs that were recorded by Bill Evans in the 1970s. Pianist Bill Cunliffe, who was only slightly familiar with Zindars' work until a year before the release of How My Heart Sings, has done the jazz world a strong favor by recording ten of Zindars' best numbers for the album, arranging them in inventive fashion for his sextet. Sometimes the post-bop renditions are slightly reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's Speak Like a Child album or Hancock's late-'60s sextet, but there are also swinging sections and plenty of originality along with utilization of tricky time signatures. The ballad "Return to Love," a complex reworking of "Heads or Tails," and "Elsa" are among the high points, while the band gets to stretch out a bit on "Earl's Blues." Justin Ray's fl쳌gelhorn is added to the group's sound on two numbers. Overall, this set is a gem, giving today's listeners some fresh "new" music, and today's jazz musicians a few more choices to add to their repertoire. Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow