The brainchild of David Chesky, this album's collective talents rise to the fore early and often. Although "52nd Street" takes a moment or two to find its niche, Randy Brecker's trumpet recalls Miles Davis backed by a Latin or salsa flavor thanks to the conga playing from Giovanni Hidalgo. The fluidity is its crowning glory, as Bob Mintzer joins the fray on bass clarinet, giving it a low yet sophisticated style. The low-key atmosphere only adds to the luster of the opening song, although Brecker's solo two-thirds of the way in isn't entirely outstanding, sliding up and down the scales with average results. However, the polyrhythmic verve oozing on the catchy and infectious "East Harlem" works brilliantly, while Chesky jumps off into a rapid yet meticulous piano solo prior to Brecker taming the number down. "Bronxville" ensues, but by this time the listener senses this is basically a 70-minute song divided into nine sonic boroughs, as some of the early song titles would suggest. This particular effort is given more air to breathe and thrive upon, with the bassline having more of an integral role. The group changes gears slightly on the funkier and deliberate "Hell's Kitchen," bringing to mind instrumentals by Morphine as the song is wrapped tightly around the anchor of its rhythm section before slowing to a crawl. "Acoustic Metal" gets things back to a lovely and polished framework as Brecker takes the song by its proverbial horns, while Chesky accents the core of the effort. But "N.Y. Cool" might be too cool for its own good, wallowing in certain areas while shining in other instances, albeit fleetingly. One noticeable difference is the closing "Club Descarga," hinting at a sense of urgency and fine musicianship.
AllMusic Review by Jason MacNeil