Four Los Angeles musicians (known as ESP) came together in 1993 to record a set of originals plus Thelonious Monk's "Think of One." Altoist Paul Carman (who doubles on soprano) is a superior player who deserves to be much better known, creating adventurous but logical solos while joined by pianist Mark Massey, bassist Ken Filiano, and drummer Steve Distanislao. The post-bop (beyond bebop but completely avant-garde) music holds one's interest throughout, even if none of the originals are destined to become future standards. The music is intense enough to live up to the CD's name.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow