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This album, recorded in 1991 in France and just released in the United States, gives reason to cheer. The 42-year-old Grossman, one of jazz's finest tenor saxophonists, is in regal form, offering a brilliant synthesis of the two major tenor stylists of the day--John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins.
Grossman weaves Coltrane's vertical, pole-vaultish methodology and Rollins' curving, hurdler-like be-bop manner into a personal stance that is as compelling as it is individual.
In the company of a glorious rhythm section of Barry Harris (piano), Reggie Johnson (bass) and Art Taylor (drums), Grossman delivers a program that never stops swinging, even on the impassioned ballads.
On "Cherokee," the saxophonist is dazzling, delivering complex turn-this-way-then-that lines that thrill like a high-wire walker who is simultaneously juggling five red rubber balls. On Bud Powell's ardent "I'll Keep Loving You," Grossman issues tender, pleading statements, his granite note centers surrounded by swirls of breath.
New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four (excellent). Five-star ratings are reserved for classic reissues.