Guitarist Jamie Fox has crafted a recording of modern jazz with mainstream flashes and contemporary fusion flair. In tandem with tenor saxophonist Dan Willis, Fox plays upon and executes music derived from the style John Scofield and Joe Lovano created in the mid-'80s, as represented on the Blue Note label efforts Meant to Be, Time on My Hands, and What We Do. In addition to Willis, Fox employs the rising-star bassist Stephan Crump, veteran pianist Kenny Werner, and drummer Michael Sarin. This band can do very little wrong. All of these tracks are written by Fox, notably the quirky "New News" (an album highlight), the bluesy "Moniker," the bass-led lazy wonder of "Childhood," and the playful "Mine & Yours," with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Peck Allmond most reflecting the Scofield-Lovano affiliation. A free intro tacked onto the neo-bop tune "All in Time" recalls Pat Metheny's 80/81 album. A cowboy twang à la Bill Frisell takes Fox into a different realm on the loping title track, helped by Allmond's trumpet, as does the soulful "Row After Row," an easy laid-back piece combining Frisell with sky church Metheny. At its wittiest, even cute, there's the backwards tango "Ognat," while "Five One & a Half" is a breezy light bossa unison melody, showing Willis and Fox most clearly on the same page. This is a sleeper, a very good effort that, while somewhat revelatory in its voicings and compositional derivations, still yields a fresh contemporary approach to modern jazz that should appeal to many.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos