If you can judge someone by the company he keeps, then Andy Laster is top-notch all the way. This quartet is entirely different than his Hydra quintet, yet the quality of the group is just as impressive. Here, he drops the electric guitar and substitutes Erik Friedlander on cello for Drew Gress' bass. The higher-pitched stringed instrument is totally effective, especially in the hands of Friedlander. Cuong Vu plays trumpet, and he is excellent, although it is hard to measure up to Herb Robertson. Kenny Wollesen rounds out the group on percussion, where his sensitive playing fits nicely. Like its predecessor, this recording relies greatly on Laster's awesome compositional skills, which exceed the quality of his own fine improvisations. The disappointingly short recording time (less than 45 minutes) is a shame, considering the eminently accessible layered textures and excellent solos.
AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy