With Seen On the Scene, his Origin Records debut, trumpeter Jared Hall offers up the sort of fresh bebop/post bop sounds found on the Blue Note Records label in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Horace Silver and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers seem to serve as touchstones, as does pianist / composer Tadd Dameron, too. Hall's quintet—the familiar trumpet and sax and rhythm section line-up—takes on a pair of Dameron's classics: "Mating Call," and two versions of "If You Could See Me Now," along with a handful of Hall originals, and Francis Lei's. "Theme From Love Story."
Opening with the Hall-penned title tune, the quintet runs with a well-tuned synchronization. It also puts on display the disparate personalities involved—the leader's relatively laid-back approach to his horn, sounding similar to fellow horn man Wilbur Harden's work with the decidedly brasher saxophonist John Coltrane on the quintet outing Standard Coltrane (Prestige Records, 1958), while his front line running mate, alto saxophonist Vincent Herring carries a tang in his tone, a sharp edge not unlike that of fellow alto sax man Jackie McLean.
Dameron's "Mating Call" gets a reverent treatment, the rhythm section of bassist Michael Glynn, pianist John Hansen and drummer Matt Jorgensen delving into a deep-yet-bright groove, in contrast to the drifting melancholy of "Theme From Love Story," delivered in a terrific fashion here. At eight minutes running time, it is the longest cut on the disc, offering a particularly eloquent piano solo from Hansen, all alone, no comping, as he tells the entire sad story involved; that then shifts in a beautiful give-and-take from the horns.
The group takes on Coltrane's aspiration with the hall original, "Force Tor Good," an ebullient romp, with Hall sounding inspired, while the two takes on Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now" exude a "late night in the emptied out bar" vibe.