Traveler is a listeners C.D. From front to back, gorgeous melodies, great performances, and an overall superb package. Kudos to HASS! He has proved in the past on tours and recordings with Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Parish, Miri Ben Ari, Manhattan Vibes, and Darryl Hall, that he has enormous technical and musical facility, but Traveler proves to us, that Mr. Hass doesn't play music only for himself. I call this "today's jazz disease". Jazz listeners miss melody and song. All we have is the masters. Today's jazz releases are either copying the masters or completely self serving the musician's ego. We're not interested in how many notes you can play, or how complex it is. We care about feel and melody.
Traveler meets my needs with great arrangements of some of the best compositions of our time. And for you "musician heads", yes there's some great solos on there. The sax work of Donny McCaslin and Ravi Coltrane is nothing less than beautiful. Steve also takes a couple of solos, one over a 13/8 vamp in JBENJAZZ, and one in a 5/4 clave version "Song Is You". His rendition of Skylark is a truesign of the times and Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer sings her heart out on it.
Thanks for putting out such a great piece of work Mr.HASS. I look forward to more originals on your next one.