"Second Helping" CD Review
by PHILLIP McNALLY
Cadence Magazine - Feb 2007
Bass player Luther Hughes and his quintet play the minor Blues on Second Helping, and they keep it greasy and swinging.
This is not really a tribute album, though the quintet winds its way through seven tunes linked to either Adderley or Hard Bop era Coltrane. Second Helping is more of a concept album, as even the originals here evoke Cannonball's bluesy approach. And by the nature of the concept, the two saxophone players carry the weight. And let's face it, that weight is indeed heavy. Glenn Cashman has a reedy tone on tenor that works well with the Blues, and Bruce Babad plays reedy Blues too, but he adds a piercingly beautiful high tone, fleet and perfect in pitch. The two meld together well, which means the theme statements are lovely and hot. If there is a flaw, it is that both their approaches to soloing are similar, and Cashman favors the upper register, so at times it is hard to tell them apart.
Ed Czach plays a good and greasy piano out if Timmons and not Tyner or Powell. And the rhythm section keeps it all swinging.
Hardly innovative, Second Helping is fine and fun, with no big indulgent blowing sessions, just tight, pretty arrangements with plenty of soul.