This album of small group jazz features some stellar performances. The songs all have structure made of melody and rhythm, but there is some good improvisation to go along with it. The cover versions of Heart of Glass and We Are the Champions are fun and challenging. The original songs are super and filled with emotion and technically challenging performances.
This isn't avant guarde material, but it still is challenging jazz with just enough easy parts to make it accessible. I'm surprised Columbia dropped these guys, this music is so good and so sellable I think they could have built a real franchise here. Oh well, hopefully the independent road with give them some more freedom to experiement with their music.
While not as bad as most of their disks, this album does suffer from some of the effects of the loudness war; namely hypercompression, distortion, clipping, and brickwalling. This was done in an effort to get the average volume louder so listeners who had it in a playlist or a cd changer would hear the music at a louder volume. Unfortunately this has disastrous consequences for the sound quality. This album has an effect dynamic range of 8 dB, a good jazz disk should be around 14.
Look up 'loudness war' at wikipedia or google 'pleasurize music' for more info.