..all guest here, but I'm afraid for me this album never really catches fire. It's played in little big-band style with themes that have a slighlty somnolent, supper-club air to them at times, that even Hubbard sounds slightly restricted by. There are highlights, however, the bluesy numbers, like the slow crawl of 'Scrap Iron' and the funky 'Chili Peppers' are a perfect environment for Turrentine to show off his r'n'b-drenched splutter and growl, and Hubbard breaks out on the livelier and slightly trickier theme of 'Los Malos Hombres', although Spaulding has more difficulty with it it seems.
Part of the problem is Pearson's piano playing I think, his solos rarely stray far from the source material and never really seem to build much, mixed with a lack of solo space for the horn players to really stretch out.
There are good aspects to it and if you're a fan of Turrentine you'll enjoy his work here, there are catchy themes and solid bass and drum work but, overall, especially given the cast list, I found it a little underwhelming.
It's actually one of my favourites, soloing is chilled, calm, less in-your-face. If you love technical showcases this might not set your world alight but each song flows from head to head and into the next in a very zen like way. I feel this would appeal to those less akin to shrieky jazz. It holds similarity to Horace Silver's leadership for me, some quality that makes it accessible without loosing what makes it of high quality. It's definately not fast paced Bop, but it's also not trance enducing Smooth. It's a very balanced album and is more often that not the album I can find myself listening to regardless of the mood i'm in. I'm often listening to Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Wes Montgomery etc. etc., rarely dislike any of the popular jazz recordings and I love this album.
The cast is impressive and there isn't anyone on bad form. Turrentine and Hubbard turn in quite fine performances.
Taking the LPs 6 original tracks, Chilli Peppers is jazzy and upbeat, Los Malos Hombres is a Basie-esque blues, and the remainder of the tracks are generally chilled. The tunes are all Pearson originals and the album flows nicely from start to finish.
The criticisms of Duke Pearson himself in the 3 star review aren't something I can agree with.
If I was being hyper critical I'd personally say that "My Love Waits" isn't the best delivered piece on the LP, but it would neither be fair or true to call it poor.
If it was possible I'd probably give this LP 4.5 stars, but I can't. Seeing as another reviewer has given it an evaluated 3, I'll give it 5 for balance!