“What Is Hip?” puts him into an updated jack Kerouac bag where spoken word melds with the ensemble’s texture and alternates with his lyrical delivery. A popping electric bass and a Miles Davis muted echo (from Eddie Henderson) help the piece along and provide more than a glimpse of what it takes to remain hip. Later, “Rio de Janeiro Blue” paints an opposing portrait where soulful moans give an assist to the song’s interesting message.
“Nine Miles of Blue” gives the CD a hefty punch through Adamo’s convincing vocal rendering. By combining spoken word on several tracks with his lyrical delivery elsewhere, the singer turns in a great performance.