Recorded only five months after Moon Alley, Tom Harrell's Open Air is a good, if not particularly inspiring album made by what was essentially Phil Woods' band with Rockwell substituting for the leader on tenor. The material on Open Air is a strong program of Harrell originals and standards. The writing, as is generally the case with Harrell's albums, is first-rate throughout. The title track, a wonderfully lyrical waltz with an unusual form, is one of the strongest compositions in the trumpeter's impressive songbook. With the exception of Harrell, who sounds strong and focused throughout, the performances on Open Air are slightly disappointing. Tenor saxophonist Bob Rockwell's rather technical, calculated delivery contrasts somewhat akwardly with Harrell's highly melodic approach. And although the rhythm section is fine throughout, they don't achieve the cohesive intensity they would often find on many of Phil Woods' records. Although not a bad record by any means, this isn't the place to start in Harrell's discography.