Ron Miles, one of the most sensitive and intelligent musicians I can think of, steps right into 3ology's hermetic world and makes the sparks really fly. His playing - as you'd expect - is the highlight, but he doesn't steal the show completely. Rather, there's a feeling of exchange and equality here. Carmichael, no slouch himself, latches on to Miles' ideas really quickly – and Miles returns the favor when Carmichael initiates something - and the duo come up with some really excellent lines. A good example is the harmonized, syncopated figure that becomes a sort of melody after Tim Carmichael's wonderful bass solo opens 'Back in Hotchitakee.' These guys also know when to back off – as they do later on in the same track to let Miles probe ahead, unaccompanied. The really impressive thing about this CD is the musicians' restraint - there are climactic moments of excess, but they're only moments. I get the sense, throughout, that these guys are really actively listening to each other all the time. There's also a fair amount of variety here musically. 'Nightmares of My Youth' is a slow-rolling dirge replete with malleted toms, dissonant arco bass, and muttering horns, that gathers and then dissipates like a thundercloud over the desert. Miles sits out on the mellow and tender 'Zero Miles,' which starts out as a drifting free ballad, and evolves into a pretty, somewhat melancholy, dialogue between bassist Tim Carmichael and his brother on alto. The quirkiest piece, 'For Don,' has Miles soloing eloquently over the trio's hand-clapped rhythms. The quartet also works effectively with a mutated slow blues ('Jimmyin' the Bakin' Shack') and ECM-ish jazz noir ('Gonna Leave a Mark'), the latter benefits particularly from Jon Powers' excellent and highly aware drumming. This is a very solid disc, and one that I've played repeatedly.