Joseph Howell successfully brings an instrument usually associated with swing into the modern era. His clarinet has a tone similar to Buddy DeFranco, but his heart beats to the post bop tones of Shorter and Joe Henderson on this fun set with Keigo Hirakawa/p, Kenji Shimada/b and Kenichi Nishio/dr. Oh, he’ll take on “Take the ‘A’ Train”, but he swings it like it’s on the end of a rope, swirling around like an Olympic discus thrower. He shows his grace along with Kirakawa on a pretty read of “My Foolish Heart” and sails with the wind to his back with a p ulse provided by Shimada and Nishio on “Good Bait”. A take of Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti” builds up the relentless pace to a bold climax, and Henderson pieces such as “Serenity” and “Mamacita” have Hirakawa in a McCoy Tyner mood and Howell delivering some tasty excursions of modal directions. All of the songs range between 8-13+ minutes as it is a “live” performance, so everyone gets a chance to stretch out a bit, but they never cause one to tune out on the tunes. A tasty licorice stick.