Down Beat - p.683 stars out of 5
-- "[It's] hard to imagine a better way to remember Hicks than his distinctive, clever-but-underplayed phrasing on this CD's highlight, 'Mambo Influenciado.'"
Personnel: John Hicks (piano); John Hicks; Curtis Lundy (bass instrument); Victor Jones (drums); Elise Wood (flute); Javon Jackson (tenor saxophone); Ray Mantilla (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Rudy Van Gelder.
Liner Note Author: Donald Elfman.
Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (04/05/2006).
Photographer: Richard Conde.
A few weeks prior to his death on May 10, 2006, pianist John Hicks entered the recording studio for what was likely the final time to produce this memorable CD. His reflective ballad "One Peaceful Moment" is a meditative solo piano feature that opens the disc. Two additional solo features, "The Things We Did Last Summer" and the original "Sunset Blues," continue the mood set by the opening track. Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson's heartfelt tenor sax is the perfect pairing with the leader in "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry." Hicks' wife (and frequent recording partner), Elise Wood, is added on flute in several Latin selections, including Woody Shaw's lively "Sweet Love of Mine" and the pianist's breezy "Peanut Butter Two," which also feature percussionist Ray Mantilla. This excellent date is a fitting conclusion to John Hicks' career. ~ Ken Dryden