Good, not great...
quisten8 | San Francisco, CA USA | 10/03/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A solid player with great chops, Chris is gifted with admirable self-discipline. Make no mistake: This guy practices a lot--he plays his *** off. However, this recording--aside from the wonderful tone he pulls from that trumpet--is (in my opinion) lackluster. He sounds unfocused, like he was ill, distracted, or half asleep during the sessions. (Of course, half asleep he'd be waaaaaaaaaay better than most.) It's not just the music, although it would've helped to have a few upbeat tunes. These are slow tunes nearly brought to a standstill. "It Never Entered My Mind" drags like a funeral dirge. I like "Estate" the best, I think. Second favorite would probably be the Dean Martin duet, which has some wonderful moments. Maybe the elusive bonus tracks are better (I didn't get them and haven't been able to track them down since it's now been at least two years since the album's release). In any event, compare Chris's playing on this album with the phrasing, support, and artistry he laid down on the currently latest release, Live in Boston. Now, he is absolutely mesmerizing on that CD and DVD. I want him to keep going in that direction. I want him to loosen up even more and do some straight-ahead jazz. He has the potential to be a Miles or Chet, possibly even without living the way they did (smack smack)."