Excellent mainstream session with a cool, restrained edge. Lots of synthesizers for matte-like backgrounds (1,2). ACOUSTIC guitar plus liquidy ELECTRIC bass on many tracks, creating some really different touches to the album. This band wouldn't be kicked out of a staid jazz club, but Blanchard manages to produce something different, a low-key adventuresome sound.
It's arguably overproduced (see the scathing review in the magazine "Signal To Noise") but I like it.
Herbie Hancock guests on 4 and 7.
For similar sonic/acoustic jumbling in a less mainstream context, check out Henry Threadgill's "Up Popped the Two Lips."
1- Cool and sneaky, mid/fast with an outside air
2- Floaty atmosphere, distinct African tones. Liquidy electric bass.
3- African chant, midtempo. Ends up in a contempo acoustic-guitar solo.
4- Mid/slow mellowness
5- Mid/fast, bubbling, mildly Latin
6- Interlude with cool backwards acoustic guitar!
7- What I like to call "cold fire:" deceptively mellow feel that leads into intense, stormy soloing.
8- Slow, warm, welcoming
9- Cool mid/fast number
10- Brisk and upbeat interlude
11- Dynamic mid/fast piece with sprawling, psych-y electric guitar. Big ending.