Lovano and Osby made some excellent personnel and program choices. The teaming of Osby-affiliated pianist Jason Moran and Lovano’s current trio mates-bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Idris Muhammad-produces a constantly shifting chemistry of contrast and confluence. Brown and Muhammad are always in sync with Moran’s ability to quickly and effortlessly move between the pocket and the perimeter of a composition’s structure, and Moran proves to have a sixth sense about when and how to pull back just a little to allow Brown’s well-honed sense of line and the propulsiveness of Muhammad’s smallest details to come to the foreground.
In Lion’s day, this trio would have been subsequently booked into Van Gelder’s ASAP, with or without a front line. The formula of the co-leaders each contributing a few tunes and rounding out the program with some chestnuts is rarely as well executed as it is here…
" Track after track, Lovano and Osby confirm their marquee status. Consistently, their flinty exchanges provoke them to go beyond their… read more"" Track after track, Lovano and Osby confirm their marquee status. Consistently, their flinty exchanges provoke them to go beyond their usual high standards of passionate intelligence. Read the entire review here"Bill Shoemaker, Jazz Times
" The teaming of Joe Lovano and Greg Osby, two of the most exciting saxophonists of the ’90s, is kind of… read more"" The teaming of Joe Lovano and Greg Osby, two of the most exciting saxophonists of the ’90s, is kind of a dream come true, and it’s a pleasure to say that Friendly Fire doesn’t disappoint. True, it may not be as adventurous as some listeners may have hoped for, but it’s undoubtedly vibrant hard-bop with an evident adventurous streak. Lovano and Osby are both first-class improvisers, and they turn in dynamic performances throughout the album, whether it’s on originals or standards. They turn Friendly Fire into a compelling listen that’s the musical equivalent of the title’s promise."Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide