An enthusiastic and surefire traditionalist, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli leads an ace quintet on Lookin’ Up, a rousing set of crisp hard bop originals and juicy jazz covers – their precise, fired-up “Suddenly It’s Spring” and “In Walked Lila” are surely leapin’ and lopin’, Sonny Clark-style. Magnarelli learned the ropes in a variety of big bands like Harry Connick, Jr’s orchestra, which make his tunes richly entertaining. As a trumpeter, he’s no show boater, preferring a muted horn or flugelhorn and sticking to the middle registers where he runs self-assured and nuanced lines. He shares his front line with uber-trombonist Steve Davis that, combined with the scintillating solos by the great (and undervalued) pianist Anthony Wonsey, bassist Mike Karn and drummer Jason Brown, makes for a swinging dream date in the Jazz Messengers tradition. A bouncing version of “You Go To My Head,” the leader’s own (Obama inspired?) “44” and the cool bossa groove on “Blue Key” are tightly arranged, played with feeling and move like a freight train. Magnarelli’s slick quartet is boss throughout and this wholly enjoyable record simply crushes it. (10 tracks; 53 minutes)

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