On this focused and passionate record, Alan Pasqua is joined by bassist Dave Holland and drummer Paul Motian -- two players with stellar reputations who don't appear together often. Motian's post-'70s playing tends to be free and fragmented, but he approaches Pasqua's material with a straight-ahead sense of swing. The leader, for his part, became known as a synth player following his work with the Tony Williams Lifetime in the late '70s, but here his playing and writing are closer to acoustic post-boppers like Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Barron. Pasqua's elegance and fluidity are amply apparent on the trio features: "Mr. Softee," "Taiowa," "Dedicated to You," and "Grace."
The album is also spiced up by three high-profile guests. Tenor sax star Michael Brecker contributes a rare soprano performance on "San Michele," and he and brother Randy Brecker (trumpet) sit in on "Emergence." The esteemed altoist Gary Bartz joins Randy Brecker on "Homage," "Ellingtonia," and "Sha' la' ko'."