This set had me worried. Some of the group improvising is so sparse and meandering that it almost sounds as if the musicians are lost, or too shy to play much. However, just when one is ready to give up on this project as a lost effort, one of the musicians gets the momentum flowing and the others follow with their own comments. By the time the quintet performs the closing "Broken," the music makes perfect sense and has plenty of forward momentum. The musicians, best known of which are clarinetist Michael Moore and bassist Mark Helias, are all excellent and intuitive. Although they have been involved in more rewarding projects through the years, The Definition of a Toy by its conclusion has logical development. It just takes a long time to get to the point!
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow