Lester Bowie's no pretender here -- as he really sounds great as a leader on his own, away from the Art Ensemble Of Chicago -- really finding his voice in music, and dipping into a full range of styles and expressions! Bowie's keen wit and sensitivity both come into play here -- and the album's a bit more open and free than his Brass Fantasy years -- almost hearkening back to elements of his St Louis scene, but with a bit more dynamism overall.
Bowie stretches the title tune to over 16 minutes with an artful and witty exploration of trumpet sounds, from brassy declarations to low blasts to half-valve techniques that sound like muttered asides. With backup vocals by Fontella Bass and David Peaston and a raucous baritone saxophone interlude by Hamiet Bluiett, the Platters' doo-wop classic becomes suspended between kitsch and concerto. On the rest of the CD, Bowie is backed by a very creative rhythm section of underrated players, Donald Smith on piano and organ, Fred Williams on acoustic and electric basses, and Phillip Wilson on drums. Together they range skillfully from the camp of "It's Howdy Doody Time" to the free jazz of "Doom?" to the Latin funk of "Rios Negroes."