The album is a fairly seamless exploration of various Jazz tinged styles. It’s seamless in the sense that the players work in telepathy to create a scene. Such is the level of artistry, that, with each change in direction or movement through Jazz history between or even within each song, these cinematic u-turns are barely noticed. The risk in a free roving or eclectic disk is that nothing sticks, since the listener is left with half formed scraps or asides. Blanchard avoids these pitfalls with his obvious respect and knowledge of Jazz history and a keen compositional sense. He reveals the right balance of intuition and artistry in his use of sounds and sidemen.
Tradition past and future breathe in Blanchard’s solos. That’s the brightest gem in this collection. Assurance and poise ring through Blanchard’s measured, fluid tones. There is no sense of aping the past in what he does. It is expression, with respect to both ends of the temporal scale that pulls Blanchard to the stars.
If you weary of Jazz neo-con backward glances and necrophilia, you’ll feel free and home when Blanchard puts the horn to his lips. There’s thrill and chill to be had in this disc’s finer points. Close the eyes and let sound shape the movie sure to fill your head.