Gabe Baltazar has long been one of the most underrated alto saxophonists in jazz. Because he long ago chose to live in Hawaii, his talents (which were earlier heard with the Stan Kenton Orchestra) have been overlooked, but this V.S.O.P. CD signalled a higher profile on the mainland when it was released. Backed by pianist Tom Rainier, bassist Richard Simon, and drummer Steve Houghton, Baltazar is in brilliant form, interpreting standards and blues in his bop-oriented style. His reshapings of "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" and "The Birth of the Blues" are among the high points.