"I believe in playing it 'straight-ahead', and also in playing the 'changes' says Bass. Rooted in the great traditions set out by Ellington, Parker and Gillespie, Bass has followed his philosophy to a tee with standards like Dukes' "Caravan" and "In A Sentimental Mood" and on the Dietz/Schwartz classic "Alone Together", plus a trio of originals.
Ably supported by Saxophonist Chico Freeman, Trumpeter Oliver Beener, Trombonist Kiani Zawadi, Pianists John Hicks and Mickey Tucker plus Percussionists Michael Carvin and Ray Mantilla, Bass sets down solid channels for the soloists through his steady playing and provocative arrangements.
The well-traveled Bassist has strong credentials; in addition to his own group heard here, Mickey has worked with Jackie McLean, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, Carmen McRae and Billy Eckstine. Except for an outing in his own "Bahama Mama", Bass stays mostly in the background, leaving the limelight for his cohorts.
Among the galvanizing soloists, the dynamic Freeman cuts an especially impressive swath. On Tenor forays in "Alone Together" and "Caravan", he plunges forward with biting tone and Coltrane-like intensity. For "Sentimental Mood" his Soprano soars with rhapsodic lyricism.