The Blueprint Project began as a cutting-edge jazz trio, co-founded by pianist Tyson Rogers, multi-reed player Jared Sims, and guitarist Eric Hofbauer. For this album, they added special guest Han Bennink on drums, whose strong rhythmic feeling with an offbeat flavor gives the group just the spark it needs. Each of the three regulars contributes potent originals. Rogers' quirky, angular "Herbie Nichols" captures the spirit of its namesake, a long deceased pianist/composer who is widely admired by musicians but still not well-known among jazz fans as a whole. "Ruby, I Think You're My Third Favorite" is a loopy shuffle that has nothing to do with Thelonious Monk's "Ruby, My Dear." Hofbauer's "The Holly Stomp" suggests the humor of the late Jaki Byard (featuring Sims' sizzling alto), while his gritty, bluesy "Jac-Mac" showcases Sims on tenor. "Captain Salvy Sets Sail" is a spirited calypso that may be the most straight-ahead arrangement of the session. The dark "Chillfreemeistrodemus" opens with an eerie clarinet-piano duet, with Bennink and Hofbauer making an effective delayed entrance. Throughout the date, the musicians intuitively react to one another, keeping the music from becoming predictable. This enjoyable disc reveals new facets with each hearing.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden