As in other CDs in the After Hours
series of GoJazz, Ira Sullivan
's collects a number of late-night recordings from several sessions. Sticking primarily to soprano sax for the most part, Sullivan
is joined by bassist Billy Peterson, drummer Kenny Horst, and pianist Bill Carrothers (except for two tracks with Bobby Peterson on piano). His adventurous up-tempo arrangement of the often tepid mid-1960s ballad "It Was a Very Good Year" is immediately followed by a sauntering, somewhat exotic take of "Dear Old Stockholm." His powerful interpretation of Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" conveys the sadness of losing someone special. His rich tenor sax finally makes an appearance with a brisk and joyful version of the usually bittersweet "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most." Sullivan
also wrote two of the numbers on this release; "Ira's Blues" can't help but conjure up the memory of John Coltrane's intense blues on soprano sax, while "Monday Blues" begins with a lyrical unaccompanied solo by the leader then transforms into a driving post-bop number. Highly recommended.