During his career, drummer Al Ashley has played with many top jazz musicians, including Mose Allison, Milt Jackson, and Ira Sullivan, but has never gained much fame. Perhaps that will change with the release of his recording debut as a leader. He teams up with the always stimulating saxophonist David Liebman, the underrated New York guitarist Rick Stone, and the obscure but talented organist Oliver Von Essen. The music on this disc, all originals from group members, ranges from straight-ahead hard bop to post-bop, with Von Essen's "Perfect Day" having a particularly appealing chord structure and Stone's "Relative Minority" being a good cooker. In addition to his usual fiery soprano, Liebman contributes some of his best tenor solos of recent times, organist Von Essen displays his own musical identity out of the Jimmy Smith tradition, and guitarist Stone is doubly effective as an accompanist and a soloist. As for the leader, Al Ashley is mostly content to keep the ensembles swinging and driving, only taking brief spots in the spotlight. All in all, These Are Them is an excellent set of modern mainstream jazz.