The Call features the same lineup as Notes From Big Sur (pianist Bobo Stenson and bassist Anders Jormin), save for drummer Billy Hart, who replaces Ralph Peterson. (Lloyd has referred to this group as his "Full Service Orchestra of Love.") While the record documents plenty of stirring musicianship, Lloyd the composer seems to be running low on fresh ideas and distinctive melodies. In sum, The Call is a bit too similar in thrust to his two previous ECM outings. (It's also over 16 minutes longer, which doesn't help.) There are a couple of unexpected twists, however -- like Lloyd's surging, surprising entrance toward the end of "Song," and the quick yet perpetually unsettled tempo of the brief "Imke." The closing Lloyd/Hart duet, "Brother on the Rooftop," is partially based on the second movement of Beethoven's Pathétique Sonata, although there's no acknowledgement of this anywhere on the CD package.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler