This independent release from former Charles McPherson sideman Kevin Quail really swings. The title cut is an original composition by the trombonist inspired by a visit to the Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza; accordingly, a photo of this remarkable structure graces the cover of the CD. Five of the seven remaining tracks were written by either bassist David Marr or pianist Robert Dogan. As composers and musicians, the Kevin Quail Quartet turn the difficult trick of making original music that sounds both classic and fresh simultaneously.
Stylistically, the band does a good job of providing a varied set. There's tender ballads like Dogan's "Starting Over," the modal jazz of David Marr's "Marrsville" and the crisp, hard-bopping take of the standard "Will You Still Be Mine" that closes the recording. Oracle has an overall similar feel to a Curtis Fuller-era Jazz Messengers record, an effect aided by drummer Tim Davis. Davis constantly swings, knowing when to ride the cymbals a la Billy Higgins and when to step up and deliver a powerful fill like Art Blakey. Good Stuff.