This CD has such intriguing writing by Muhal Richard Abrams for his sextet that the group sounds like an orchestra at times. Trumpeter Jack Walrath, Patience Higgins (on tenor, bass clarinet, and English horn), bassist Brad Jones, drummer Reggie Nicholson (who also plays marimba and bells), Warren Smith (vibes, timpani, marimba, and gongs), and Abrams (on piano and synthesizer) all have their spots to interact, and the wide variety of colors that Abrams achieves from this instrumentation is always unpredictable. In addition to freer explorations, "DizBirdMonkBudMax" is an effective tribute to Abrams' bebop roots, and several other pieces have sections where there are hints of early jazz while still looking forward to the future. This is one of Muhal Richard Abrams' better-known combo sessions.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow