A NY contemporary of guys like Ben Monder and Brad Shepik, Baggetta is a versatile, lyrical guitar player with a melancholic compositional sense that lends itself to open ends. This is his first disc as a band leader (not counting two with his TIN/BAG duo or one solo prepared guitar disc), and he fully spotlights his tunes rather than his chops. Well done, Mike! From the boppish head for "Stellar" to the floating melody of "The Heights" his melodic sense is truly beautiful. Jason Rigby's tenor playing adds a little color, although I could use some more aggression from him: he prefers very thoughtful extrapolations to emotional outbursts. But then that might be said of Baggetta as well. Those looking for Nels Cline need not apply.
Eivind Opsvik has a warm, meaty tone on the bass, and he can walk with the best of them, but, not unlike Larry Grenadier, he's apt to launch off into his own thing, playing around the drums and melody instruments, commenting and throwing out his own ideas. Drummer RJ Miller is equally at home playing rubato a la Paul Motian or swinging it pretty straight. The duet between Baggetta and Miller on "Heartland" is a really nice example of the kind of communication that is apparent throughout.