This is timeless jazz by scholars from the Basie School of Excellence - relaxed and creative, but above all, played by men enjoying themselves. With a solid foundation provided by Hugh Lawson, Ray Drummond and Bobby Durham, it is not surprising that these six men work so well together having so many points of contact over the years. 'Sweets' performance is nothing short of staggering for a man in his mid-seventies and what a pleasure to hear Buddy Tate again coming back after a serious illness. His too rarely heard clarinet is to the fore on his original tune "Blue Creek." Recorded live at Manhattan's new Birdland club, the date has a warm, relaxed and satisfying feel.