There is certainly plenty of variety on avant-garde drummer Barry Altschul's Muse set. Although only recorded on two separate occasions, each of the five performances uses very different instrumentation. The three-part "Suite for Monk" matches Altschul with altoist Arthur Blythe, trombonist Ray Anderson, the legendary guitarist Bill DeArango, pianist Anthony Davis and bassist Brian Smith for a well-conceived medley. Altschul teams up with pianist Davis and cellist Abdul Wadud for the fairly free "Chael"; bassist Dave Holland's complex "Pentacle" utilizes two basses and two cellists (plus the leader); trombonist Ray Anderson joins Davis, Smith and Altschul for the spirited and sometimes humorous "Another Time/Another Place"; and Barry Altschul takes it alone on the brief "Traps." All five selections work in their own unpredictable way.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow