Buoyed by a receptive audience and always in the mood to play to the best of their abilities, the musicians outdo themselves throughout the set. Among the highlights are lengthy explorations of "How High the Moon" (which is centered around Brown's tasty solo) and Peterson's "The Music Box Suite," cooking interpretations of a pair of the late Clifford Brown's best-known compositions ("Joy Spring" and "Daahoud"), and a pair of little-known originals by Ellis (including a lovely solo ballad, "Patricia," and the blistering "Pogo").
Brian Barley was an ill-fated Canadian tenorman who died from an epileptic seizure in 1971 at the age of 28. The five originals are all the leader's except for Ranger's "Le Pingouin.". Barley's unusual tone is confident and fairly original and this is intriguing and stimulating music that points out what a major loss it was when Brian Barley passed away so prematurely.