Houston Person really sounds great in this later date for Muse Records – definitely the older lion in the title, surrounded by a younger pride of players who really make the record swing! The set's got a rock-solid rhythm section with Benny Green on piano, Christian McBride on bass, and Winard Harper on drums – that kind of in the pocket combo that was often the driving force of a Person-produced Muse Records session like this. Philip Harper's also in the frontline on trumpet, sparkling nicely next to the tenor – and the tunes have a relatively laidback feel, and a rich sound that hardly shows the date of the record at all. Titles include "Dig", "Dear Heart", "Sweet Love", "Like Someone In Love", and "Captain Hook".
On Musique Du Bois, things start with a chorded bass-alto workout in the intro of "Samba du Bois," actually more a hard bop than Brazilian excursion, with Phil Woods' alto frying on the edges. The most inventive juxtaposition of "All Blues" welded to "Willow Weep for Me" works perfectly over ten-plus minutes, in a steady but quick waltz tempo. This is a tour-de-force reading, Woods wafting over Jaki Byard's blue-green chords. During his solo, the pianist goes light blue in cascading, flowing phrases that tumble out of the 88 keys.
If you're going to pillage someone else's ideas, then go for broke. Because even if you find yourself crammed between the barriers of creative space, utterly at a loss for ideas, expression, or thought, you'd still have a self-respect buzzing in your ear like a mad angelic insect, putting down the newspaper and taking out a cigar to remind you that, hell, if want to sound like Radiohead when even Thom Yorke doesn't want to sound like Radiohead, you might as well take it to preposterous, bombastic, over-the-top levels. Add church organs, mental electronics, riffs bouncing off each other like the monolithic screams in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and you'll finally be in position to crack skulls like coconuts and make the world's speakers ooze gooey blood.
Bassist Buster Williams had one of his few opportunities to lead a record session on this diverse set which has been reissued on CD (with an alternate take of "I Dream Too Much" added to the original program). Of the six selections, Williams has a duet apiece with Kenny Barron (who plays electric piano), pianist Jimmy Rowles and vibraphonist Roy Ayers ("My Funny Valentine"). Two other numbers feature the quartet of Williams, Ayers, Barron and drummer Billy Hart while the leader's original "Prism" has the quartet joined by singer Suzanne Klewan and percussionist Nobu Urushiyama. The music ranges from slightly commercial to introspective and hard swinging, and its variety (plus an opportunity to hear bassist Williams in the lead) are two good reasons for postbop jazz collectors to pick up this CD.