In his mid-'70s when he co-led this quintet with alto saxophonist Gabe Baltazar
, underrated trombonist Eddie Bert
is in remarkably fine form. While he stumbles a tad on the uptempo numbers, his emotional, full sound and excellent technique is evident throughout. He boasts plenty of energy, as his solos go the full yard with range intact. On the ballads he speaks with years of experience. Balatzar
fits perfectly with Bert
's older style, and the saxophonist's plush, rich tone is reminiscent of an earlier era. The group runs through comfortable standards such as "Mood Indigo," "Body and Soul," and "Pennies from Heaven," in what appears to be a live, old-fashioned jazz session. It is a testimony to the horns and the fine rhythm section (pianist Ross Tomkins
, bassist Richard Simon
, and drummer Paul Kreibich
) -- the set generally retains a freshness and sparks often fly.