I'm tempted to downgrade this a half-star simply because Impulse for some reason saw fit to release it in its original LP configuration, which totaled a mere 32 minutes. Given that the vast majority of CD releases today feature alternate takes and previously unreleased material, it seems "Illumination" would be a prime candidate for some beefing up. No such luck.
The fact is you feel the brevity of the CD keenly because what's here is so good, and I can't downgrade Jones and Garrison for the fact there isn't more of it. This is a smoking contemporary jazz set that brings together three-quarters of John Coltrane's famous quartet, backed by three superb and all-too-seldom-heard hornmen: Prince Lasha, Charles Davis, and Sonny Simmons.
Faint-of-heart hornmen have never needed to apply to play in front of Jones, and these three show they are up to the task of barging through the spirited challenge the drummer lays down. Lasha rips through the opener, "Nuttin' Out Jones," hanging in superbly when McCoy Tyner decides, as he often did when playing with Coltrane, to lay out and let the horn take on playing with Jones and Garrison alone.
Davis has a great baritone solo on "Half and Half," and the vastly underrated Sonny Simmons makes an eloquent, fiery statement on "Gettin' On Way." Along the way we get a dose of lyricism in "Oriental Flower," and an odd twist and musical union of the type Jones is fond of throwing in, with "Aborigine Dance in Scotland."
So what the heck: after the 32 minutes are over, you'll simply play the CD over again, and enjoy it just as much as you did the first time.