Randy Napoleon knows his way around a guitar, and here with Xavier Davis, Rodney Whitaker, Quincy Davis, Rick Roe, Paul Keller and Sean Dobbins they interpret songs by Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell, among others, and there's even a few originals present, too.
Wes Montgomery's "S.O.S." starts the listen with quick and meticulous guitar playing as Davis' drumming acrobatics make quite an impression, and "When They Go", a Napoleon original, continues the warm climate with Roe's elegant keys and Keller's strategic bass highlighting the melodic jazz delivery.
Closer to the middle, the playful "Beaux's Arts", by Buddy Montgomery, showcases Whitaker's spirited bass work in the busy yet calculated landscape, while Grant Green's "Jean De Fleur" is a swift and mesmerizing 6 minutes of incredible dynamics between the rhythm section of Keller and Dobbins, though Napoleon's guitar licks certainly don't disappoint either.
Further along, "The Tender Gender" certainly does remain gentle, as Roe, Keller and Dobbins complement the cautious guitar in the very thoughtful album highlight, and "The Man Who Sells Flowers" exits the listen on a solo original, where Napoleon's timeless and radiant guitar emits much beauty.
Napoleon's formative years were spent in Detroit playing the club scene, and he brings those influences to his New York life with these blues and bebop friendly tunes that are easy to absorb and hard to forget.