Thomas Marriott's fifth CD as a leader marks a substantial departure from his earlier efforts. Not only does he focus exclusively on originals for this session, but his approach to the trumpet has moved away from a forceful pop style to a more reserved yet emotional technique. Tenor saxophonist Hans Teuber, pianist Gary Versace, bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer John Bishop make up the terrific supporting band. The tense post-bop vehicle "Diagram" is a solid opener with the pianist quickly dropping out, as Marriott and Teuber exchange the lead several times before Versace returns with a potent, forceful solo. The tight unison line of "Constraints & Liberations" quickly gives way to Marriott's potent attack and Teuber's full-bodied tenor, buoyed by the percolating rhythm section. The somewhat eerie "Waking from a Dream" features Marriott's delicious muted horn and Versace's twinkling piano, along with Johnson's spacious, understated bass and Bishop's whispering brushes. Johnson contributed the obtuse "Clues," a dramatic work built upon a repeated riff that provokes some of the best solos of the date. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden