Down Beat - p.754 stars out of 5
-- "[A] well-paced, no-frills recital of nine new compositions....Harrell imparts to each one a memorable, elemental melody, meaty harmonic changes and an array of rhythmic signatures from swing to clavecentric."
JazzTimes - p.71
"Harrell's compositions are open -- all the tunes here are his -- and the playing, especially his on both trumpet and flugelhorn, is immaculate..."
Personnel: Tom Harrell (flugelhorn); Wayne Escoffery (tenor saxophone); Danny Grissett (Fender Rhodes piano); Ugonna Okegwo (bass guitar); Johnathan Blake (drums).
As correctly stated in the liner notes by Neil Tesser, Tom Harrell's music takes several listens to fully appreciate, for there is much to discover. For Light On, his first recording as a leader in four years, Harrell contributed all of the compositions. His pieces utilize original chord changes (none are mere run-throughs of rhythm changes), complex but often somewhat catchy melodies, dynamics and subtle surprises. Only the augmented blues "Bleu Caribe," a change of pace, would work at a jam session. Harrell's cool-toned trumpet and flugelhorn contrast well with Wayne Escoffery's muscular tenor; the rhythm section is heated and stimulating; and Danny Grissett is equally effective on both the acoustic piano and the Fender Rhodes. All of the musicians are in top form, which is fortunate since these pieces are not that simple to play. Several of the originals deserve to be adopted and interpreted by other musicians. Overall, Light On is a superior set of modern jazz. ~ Scott Yanow