Here is the type of stuff that completely restores my faith in jazz. You get six blue collar workers like Brian Gephart/ts-ss, Tom Garling/tb, Neal Alger/g, Karl Montzka/p, Kelly Sill/b and Eric Montzka/dr. They're never going to headline the Hollywood Bowl or the Village Vanguard, but they all know their stuff and they've got the music in their collective marrows. All nine pieces are Gephart originals, and each on is a complete joy, filled with fresh melodies, cooking solos and energetic rhythm.
Hip and vigorous "Time Flies" features the assertive rhythm section, while Alger's piano is featured on the hard hitting "McCoy Matrix." Some wonderful Brazilian sounds percolate on "Mercado Cobal" while the warm and gentle "Birch Trees in the Snow" has an exotic South African lilt to it. Through it all, the front line is as rich as anything Art Blakey put together, and Alger's guitar takes some nice journeys when given the spotlight. Leader Gephart has a muscular sounding tenor and a rich yet not whiney soprano, making this a haven for hard bop fans. Look for it!