Vibist Khan Jamal may not enjoy the widespread notoriety as some of his modern jazz peers, but those who are firmly entrenched within this idiom are quite familiar with his work as both a leader and sideman. On his latest venture for this record label that advocates free improvisation, Jamal steers his quartet through capaciously arranged and nicely flowing works. Thus, the soloists enjoy room for expansion that is supported by the leader’s nimble mallet work and frequently tempered via his light touch.
On "Believe," the soloists render soulful choruses via an anthem-like ballad, which gravitates toward a propulsive bop vamp. And then on "Nubian Queen," Jamal’s solo plight features an Afro-Cuban motif, where he constructs a theme with a climactic and somewhat layered mode of execution. However, the quartet-based highlight of this outing is rooted within the fifteen-minute piece titled "Bloom." Here, the band pursues a medium-tempo swing groove, where saxophonist Bayard Lancaster explores and solos atop Dylan Taylor’s walking bass lines and Dwight James’ garrulous, polyrhythmic fills. In addition, Jamal’s cool, breezy soloing and brisk rhythmic maneuvers provide a central focal point for the quartet’s impetus. And on a side note, veteran trombonist Grachan Moncur III, armed with a gruff and somewhat animated attack provides a contrasting light to Lancaster’s emphatic solo spots.