Gregory Tardy has put together quite an impressive debut. The tenor saxophonist proves himself to be more more than capable of leading this date. His gig as a sideman with trumpeter Tom Harrell has had a noticeable impact on Tardy's writing. That's a good thing, as Harrell is one of the premier composers in jazz today. This is most apparent on the first two tracks "Forgiveness" and "Blues to Professor Pickens." Tardy wrote seven of the nine tracks here and there isn't a clinker in the bunch. The support throughout is stellar with fine performances from bassist Reginald Veal, drummer Eric Harland and the not-heard-enough pianist Mulgrew Miller. The piano tenor duet "Prisoner of Love" is one of the CD's highlights. Tardy's playing is very mature, running the gamut from muscular to temperate. I'm looking forward to his sophomore release.
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