Steve Allen was a jack of all trades as a comedian, television star, author, musician, and prolific composer, but he has been dismissed by a lot of critics as a lightweight performer and songwriter. Allen never clamed to rival Art Tatum as a pianist, or the likes of Cole Porter or Duke Ellington as a composer; he saw himself as an entertainer first. Surrounded by a strong supporting cast during this live engagement at the Roundtable (with Allen hamming it up on the cover photo in a suit of armor), Allen doesn't hog the spotlight but keeps his solos rather brief and gives his sidemen plenty of solo space. His opener "Roundtable Boogie" features guitarist Mundell Lowe, vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, and clarinetist Gus Bivona; while Allen isn't in the league of Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson, he is a more than competent boogie-woogie player (he was once complimented on his boogie-woogie playing by Teddy Wilson, who confessed he had problems playing it himself!). Gibbs swings like mad in a fun-filled take of "I Got Rhythm." "Even Stephen" is actually a wild reworking of "Jeepers Creepers." Doc Severinson adds his swinging trumpet to Allen's rousing closer, "Baby, But You Did." Although this won't be an essential recording for the average jazz fan, anyone who enjoys Steve Allen will be delighted to acquire this record.