In a brief blurb on the CD jacket, guitarist Paul Bollenback says that the music on Invocation is a tribute to the many great musicians who have passed away prematurely. Unfortunately there are no liner notes that tell us which musicians Bollenback had in mind, though his playing of songs by James Williams and John Coltrane give at least two clues. However it's doubtful that his version of "How Deep Is the Ocean" is meant as a tribute to Irving Berlin, who lived to be 100 years old. The performances include straightforward, straight-ahead trio renditions of "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Everything Must Change," and "Emily," wordless vocalizing by Chris McNulty during some of the ensembles (most notably on "Alter Ego"), and warm playing by Randy Brecker on "After the Rain" and a few other numbers. The opening "Dancing Leaf" and "Invocation, Pt. 1" are quite complex, but much of the rest of the set is melodic, swinging and even reverent in stretches. Invocation is a consistently intriguing and worthwhile set.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow