An engaging but somewhat uneven release, with an occasional tilt toward electric fusion. It's the fifth album by Dave Liebman's 1990s ensemble, with Phil Markowitz on piano and keyboards, Vic Juris on guitars, Tony Marino on basses, and Jamey Haddad on drums, with Café guesting on percussion. Liebman and Markowitz contribute the originals. The group also reinterprets Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage," the Dietz-Schwartz standard "Dancing in the Dark," and Coltrane's "The Drum Thing" (an unusual choice, featuring Liebman on wooden flute). Standouts include Liebman's soaring "When to Love" and also his dark piano/soprano sax duet "The Gravel and the Bird," written after a visit to the Dachau concentration camp. The closing cut, Markowitz's "Yildiz," stretches to nearly 12 minutes and has a North African vibe, with Haddad playing bandir drum, Liebman again playing wooden flute, and Juris getting an oud-like sound from his acoustic guitar.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler