An unusual debut, this recording collects several groups led by West Coast bassist Adam Lane over a three-year period. Ranging from trio to big band, they all have in common an original, irreverent take on the tradition, featuring compositions by Lane and incorporating, at times, electronics, strings, and oddball voices, in addition to the usual brass, reeds, and rhythm. While not all the pieces work as well as others, and the solos, while all good, vary in creativity, the arrangements fascinate, with surprises abounding. The most interesting work comes from the larger ensembles, where, for example, on the closing "New Mars," Lane takes four voices, three flutes, a trumpet and trombone, two electric guitars, three purveyors of electronics, and an acoustic rhythm section to create a bizarre stew of seemingly free, yet paradoxically ordered, sound. While Lane sometimes reaches back decades for his harmonies, he has clearly mastered a substantial portion of the jazz tradition and beyond. While there is nothing wrong with his bass playing, his innovations -- at least on this recording -- come from his pen, not his plucks.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy