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Known mainly to be the accompanist of Shirley Horn for twenty five years and, with her, to play with some of the greatest, from Miles Davis to the Marsalis brothers, Steve Williams signs here his first album as a leader. In a set up typically bop/hard bop, he is surrounded by musicians well accustomed to this musical idiom. So well that the conversation around themes composed by the leader and some of the members of the band occurs very smoothly. But far from any routine. And complicity is obvious between Donvonte McCoy, trumpet to pay attention to, and Antoine Roney, to mention just the two of them. To be convinced about it, just listen to Dom’s song where their respective contribution follows on with an unruffled logic. The drummer, never intruding, shows a joyful drive which doesn’t exclude nor finesse of listening or pertinence of intervention. Regarding the guests, who play on two tunes, they find easily their place in this family reunion, ideal setting for the lyricism of Gary Bartz and the energetic velocity of Roy Hargrove. Just for that merging harmony and for the quality of the soloists, this album, which doesn’t pretend to innovate, has to be recommended.

Tranlated from Jacques Aboucaya Jazz Magazine February 2007 n°578