Craig Buhler has been very active as a jazz educator and a performer of many musical styles during his career, though his first love is jazz. A multi-talented reedman, playing tenor and alto sax plus clarinet -- while often doubling on two instruments within a piece, Buhler plays 11 catchy originals with his band, including trumpeter Brian Atkinson (who doubles on flugelhorn and vibes)pianist Dave Witham, bassist Joel Hamilton, and drummer Paul Kreibich (who played with the late pianist Gene Harris in his last quartet). What's particularly surprising is how to the point each of the pieces is, there are no overly long solos; the musicians solo effectively within brief spotlights, and none of the performances exceeds five minutes, a rarity for a 21st century jazz CD. "Lookear" provides a snappy, infectious opener, Buhler's expressive alto is featured in the breezy bossa nova "Capistrano," and the melancholy bossa nova "October," with Atkinson switching to vibes on both songs. This independent jazz release easily stands out from the competition and is warmly recommended.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden