The defiant album title and the sternly antiwar liner notes might lead you to expect a program of dull and earnest musical sermonizing, or of vapid free-form noodling. That is, if you don't know pianist and composer Carli Munoz, whose work seems always to be so suffused with joy. Not the fierce, manic joy of a Bud Powell or the serene joy of Bill Evans on a good night, but just plain joy -- with every note he plays you get the impression that he's thrilled to be playing and feels blessed to be where he is. On Maverick he's supported by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette, a rhythm section that any pianist would give his eyeteeth for, and there are guest appearances by saxophonist David Sanchez and clarinetist Don Byron as well. The program is a nice combination of standards and Munoz originals, among which the most exciting is the title track, a long piece with a written structure that recalls "On Green Dolphin Street." But his "Yellow Moon Tune," which closes the album on a sweetly quiet note, is drop-dead gorgeous as well, and features an unusually attractive part for arco bass. Other highlights include beautiful renditions of "You Don't Know What Love Is" and Keith Jarrett's lovely "Margot." Don Byron's solo on "Three Little Steps to Heaven" isn't spectacular, but it's not bad either, and the fact that it's about as close as this album gets to anything resembling an actual disappointment speaks volumes for its overall quality. Very highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson