A pleasant change-of-pace date for Rob McConnell. He’s well known as a longtime big-band leader, arranger and conductor, but he turned to the trio format on this session and made a nice adjustment. McConnell’s warm, inviting valve trombone solos, abetted by Ed Bickert’s equally enticing guitar and Neil Swainson’s dependable bass, made music that wasn’t overly challenging, yet wasn’t vapid or of background caliber. They blended show tunes and popular standards, and included an intriguing number by Clare Fischer, “Ornithardy.” This was a nice date by three musicians much better known for contributions to other situations. – Ron Wynn
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