This is the first solo release for trumpeter/flügelhornist Matt Hilgenberg. Hilgenberg sets the mood for Rasa with a tone that is lyrical and reflective and at times borders on brooding and mysterious. In the liner notes, Hilgenberg explains that Rasa means "clear" or a source of inspiration, which certainly describes the outstanding rhythm section featuring pianist Frank Kimbrough (a founding member of the Jazz Composers Collective), bassist Mike Richmond, and drummer Adam Nussbaum. These musicians are in constant sync with each other throughout. Unfortunately, tenor saxophonist Jared Hunter only appears on three cuts, which doesn't allow him as much solo space as he deserves. Of the eight compositions on Rasa, six are Hilgenberg originals. The remaining pieces are Kimbrough's swirling and Monk-ish "The Spins" and the standard "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise." Released on the Double-Time label.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell