John Stein assembles another international quartet with "Raising the Roof," a collection of nine gems played to perfection. John is joined by pianist Koichi Sato of Japan, bassist John Lockwood and drummer ZŽ Eduardo Nazario of Brazil (also on Encounterpoint) as they join forces on Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream", Jobim's "Vivo Sonhando", Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'", two originals by John and others.
Ed Hazell writes in the liner notes:
Sato crafts melodic statements that brim with beautiful harmonies and rhythmic excitement. From his use of surprising left hand figures to support his lines on Nica's Dream to the gentle cascades of notes on A Child Is Born to the modern and powerful voicings that climax his solo on John Stein's Elvin!, Sato gets inside each tune. Lockwood just keeps getting better as the years go by; his soloing exudes a confidence and charisma that commands your attention. His choice of notes and their placement gets more concise and eloquent; he can speak volumes with a few well-selected notes. He makes a strong opening statement in his spot on Elvin! and builds from there, each phrase linked to the previous one, in a beautifully-paced solo. Nazario is a virtuoso, of course, but he's never just about technique, there's a real depth of feeling in his playing. On Moanin' he uses his bass drum to punctuate his supple brushes so that his solo echoes the arrangement. Elvin! is his real showcase, however. His solo comes at the beat from all sorts of obtuse angles, breaking it up into small, irregular fragments, yet he never loses the time. It's a masterpiece of orchestration, as well, with snare, cymbals, toms, hi-hat, and bass drum all interwoven into the changing rhythmic patterns.