The Sunnyside label made an auspicious debut in 1982 with this album, a fine duo session featuring pianist Harold Danko and bassist Rufus Reid, who worked together in the rhythm section of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Starting off with a rollicking treatment of Thelonious Monk’s “In Walked Bud,” Danko and Reid share the spotlight. They interpret Jackie McLean’s dramatic “Omega” with Reid playing arco as Danko builds upon its hypnotic theme. The duo’s romp through Charlie Parker’s “Red Cross” is yet another delight, while Wayne Shorter’s haunting ballad “Penelope” is remarkable for its subtle arrangement. The pianist contributed two originals, including the shimmering, understated ballad “Pastoral Landing” and the appropriately lighthearted “Mirth Song,” the latter suggesting children at play. Reid’s “Elegy” features the composer prominently, a brooding piece that gradually unfolds as the tempo picks up. Highly recommended. – Ken Drydenmore »
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