The "Timeless All Stars" were originally drawn together as an 'All Star' group; engaged by a European Record Label to make a 'stellar' recording for them. What followed was that this group then became a major 'drawing card' for Jazz salons around the World, but never recorded here on 'home soil'. This particularly singular 'outing' changed all that; this session not only marks the debut recording of this group on American soil - but it also features the recording debut of new 'group-member'; Trombonist Steve Turre.
This Group has the unique distinction of being entirely made up of Master Musicians, Leaders and Composers, each one all in his own right. Whilst each of the 'All Stars' sustains a reputation and an audience for their own, highly personalized style of playing, they are all basically 'Hard-boppers' at heart, which is no crime when one knows just how to blend the right notes as well as these men do; these tenured 'All Stars' have attained a rare sense and measure of longevity.
One of the keys to the popularity of this band is in its' distinctive sound; the smoothing of the 'hard-edged', dynamic ensemble passages, whilst always retaining the lush voices of each exponent. "The Timeless All Stars" treat the listener to a constantly shifting montage of tones; which seem to simultaneously both exhault, and extinguish the senses; it's a kind of simmering fire.....
Speaking of simmering fire, Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson embodies just that. Seemingly as 'laid-back' an individual as you will ever meet, on his instrument Bobby can conjour up a maelstrom of Hellfire! Bobby has long been known as a 'Musicians' Musician'; for some years now he has been the premiere Vibraphonist of the 'Hard-bop' generation.
The perfect juxtaposition to Bobbys' resonating Vibes is the cool facility and distinctive 'finish' of Cedar Walton on the 'Ivories'. A Musician of undeniable 'presence' and flair, he is everywhere on this date; whether he is gettin' down on "Cedars' Blues", comping on "Coastin' With Bobby" or waxing rhapsodic on "Theme For Ernie", Cedars' crystalline touch illuminates every tone.
'Newcomer' to the group Steve Turre, is a man who needs no introduction to anyone on the Jazz scene today. Steve now frequently appears in New York, leading his own Band. In this session, Steve brings a fresh dimension, with his brilliant tone, flowing lines and 'hip' phrasing. On "Coastin' With Bobby"; listen with delight as Steve deftly takes his tune out...blowing into seashells..
Elder Statesman Harold Land...Saxophonist extraordinaire, Flautist, Composer; his roots in this Music are both firm, and deep. A member of the Max Roach/ Clifford Brown Quintet in the late 'Fifties, which many consider to be the quintessential 'Hard-bop' group; Harolds' relaxed style of blowing blends a West Coast patina to Turres' hard-charging 'edge'.
Bassist Buster Williams brings to this band a huge sound, prodigious technique and an absolute command of his instrument. Buster was introduced to the strings by his Father, Bassist Charles Williams Sr., graduated from High School into the Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt Quintet, and now dedicates his Composition "Song For Thaddeus" to his Grandson, with an amazing display of virtuosity!
Rounding out this sextet comes a very necessary 'spark-plug'; the Legendary Billy Higgins. The very personification of a classic 'Hard-bop' Drummer, he is probably the most widely recorded Jazz Drummer in the World. With his unmistakable trademarks; a gracefully swinging and melodic style, impeccable fills and infectious humour, Higgins provides the perfect complement to these Heroes of modern Music.
(excerpts from the liner notes)
Expert rating: 5 stars.
“This is small ensemble Jazz in the grand tradition of “The John Kirby Sextet”, and “The Jazztet”. There’s a muscular elegance to the groups’ sound and style; a refined sophisticated feel to its’ approach. It proudly announces that Masters, and not ‘journeymen’ are at work here, bringing a hard-won grace to the most intricate Jazz, whilst retaining the directness of its’ swinging heart, even in the most demandingly complex rhythmic schemes…..
“This group just gets better and better; they are all leaders in their own right who find only the rare opportunity to get together for an opportunity such as this, which truly lives up to its’ name. Highly recommended”.
(Michael G. Nastos; All Music Guide)
The Timeless All-Stars, a classy, dependable sextet of true all-stars who've developed a strong identity in their 15 or so years together, take an all-for-one and one-for-all approach on TIME FOR THE TIMELESS ALL-STARS; Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, Reedman Harold Land, Trombonist Steve Turre (seashells on "Coastin' With Bobby"), Pianist Cedar Walton, Bassist Buster Williams and Drummer Billy Higgins share the writing chores, with the improvisational surefootedness manifested only by the best working bands.
(Gene Kalbacker, New Music Report)