If you think of the instruments on this recording as three brass and percussion, you'd of course be technically correct. That description, though, does little to convey the variety of blips and blats and tinkles and changing textures that permeates the sound, coupled with some excellent soloing. Much of the music, while not expressly melodic, is nonetheless surprisingly soothing and reasonably accessible. It is difficult to tell which sections are written and which are improvised, as the trombone, trumpet, and tuba come and go, changing combinations, tempos, and more. William Roper's tuba engages in some modest feats, and his scat vocals impress with their elasticity and humor on "The Admiral Remembers Wild Times on the Isthmus." Sometimes the brass seems voiced fairly tightly, though often the horns go their own ways. Much of the music is slow and deliberate, and frequently soft or at least moderately so, lending to the plethora of little sounds produced by Brad Dutz on an array of percussion. Rob Blakeslee and Michael Vlatkovich weave and jut throughout, the trombonist's mute work adding an attractive blue-drenched veil on "Ice Flow." Some of the tracks are not as effective as others, and sometimes the music drifts and loses focus. There are many fine moments, too, though this CD is hardly essential to the individual discographies of the members of the quartet.
AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy