This is ethereal, contemplative music played beautifully by the unusual combination of trumpet and guitar. Kris Tiner's tone is warm and full, and unusually gentle for a young brass player. He takes the lead most of the way, but Mike Baggetta's presence is continuous. Fitting the mood of the album, the guitarist often uses long-sustain sparsely-placed notes, whether accenting Tiner's solos or soloing himself. (Classical music fans will recognize the influence of composer Morton Feldman.)
"Bobo" opens with a mournful wail strongly reminiscent of Miles' Sketches of Spain. The entire track may remind you of that album, but it's quieter and played with rhythmic freedom rather than a steady pulse. Through much of the piece, Baggetta picks a simple bass-line. During his own solo, notes above that bass line come at a leisurely one every four seconds or so. The effect is mesmerizing. It's rare to hear young musicians who know how to grab listeners without wild flurries of speed or in-your-face dynamics.
All the tunes are Tiner originals and all are filled with moments of delicately exquisite beauty. "Osho" features restrained trumpet calls and quiet trills that demonstrate Tiner's exceptional control and ear for colors.
Baggetta is first to state the melody on "Bridges" which begins with one of the longest guitar solos on the album. Tiner joins on muted trumpet, improvising over guitar before he closes out by restating the easily followed main theme.
"Just Like a Woman" is a blues number and as close as the duo comes to conventional. Subdued and thoughtful, like everything else here, it's a warm and satisfying way to conclude.
Though I believe this album is one of the year's best and highly rewarding, it's not for everyone. The mood varies little from one track to the next. Every tempo is slow and often irregular, and the dynamic range is limited. (Also note that total timing is stingy at just over 40 minutes.)
But every track is marvelous, a colorful tonal-portrait without a wasted note. Highly recommended.