by Jeff Becker
Newcomer Tony Lustig debuts on the scene with a stellar line up of supporting cast members, but don’t let the word newcomer fool you, this baritone sax player has been a part of many projects as a sideman in action. Taking Flight features trombonist Michael Dease, pianist Samora Pinderhuges, bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. who all help to create balance, and the fire needed when hearing Lustig who can take risks when needed and also color within the lines of conformity when necessary. For these reasons Taking Flight stands head and shoulders above its contemporaries.
A Horace Silver version of “Change is Coming” is bright and uplifting, and Lustig and Dease offer hints of “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” laced into their solos. “Fraytown” is a refreshingly swingin’ lorry to the game changing “Prometheus,” muscular, modern and a blowfest of proportional size, worthy of the New York jazz scene where each of these players reside, when not on tour.