A subtle gem from Bobby Hutcherson's wonderful years on Landmark Records – a point when he was really getting back to basics, and cutting some great straight work that almost hearkened back to his 60s gems on Blue Note! The set's recorded live at the Village Vanguard – and Bobby swings soulfully in a great quartet with Kenny Barron on piano, Buster Williams on bass, and Al Foster on drums. Hutcherson's playing both vibes and marimba – and the scope of his playing here has both grown from earlier years, awash with tones, colors, and light – which Barron and Williams are only happy to fill in more deeply. Titles include "I Wanna Stand Over There", "Little Niles", "Estate", "Well You Needn't", and "Young & Foolish".
Throughout his career, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson has recorded one rewarding set after another, always being quite consistent. This date (which as usual can be considered advanced hard bop) finds Hutcherson (who doubles on marimba) interacting with saxophonist Ralph Moore (heard on tenor and soprano), pianist Buddy Montgomery, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis. Together they perform four of Hutcherson's unpredictable originals plus a trio of standards (including "Come Rain or Come Shine"). Fine music.
This album was a surprise when it was released for it features drummer Jack DeJohnette exclusively on piano and synthesizer in a trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Freddie Waits. DeJohnette on a couple of the tunes was among the very first pianists to really capture the sound of Thelonious Monk. Other selections are more in his own style and he displays a strong technique that does not sound like the work of a drummer who is moonlighting.