|The Jury Is Out|
The first thing that struck me was how fresh, vital and new-sounding Muhler's compositions were, truly jazz for the 21st century. It helped of course that Muhler was working with musicians who not only understood his music but expressed it as imaginatively and fully as he did. All four men in the quartet play as one, but not in a rigid, monochromatic way. Always probing, testing, contributing, they bring ideas, beauty and color to each and every tune. The purity of their tone is remarkable, likewise their melodic sense.
Muhler's composing gifts are encapsulated in the long piece (12:45) Sun & Clouds, which goes from quiet, introspective passages to powerful, intense and stormy ones, only to resolve itself in tender, wistful, deeply felt fashion.
Together Muhler and his mates make rich, complex, catchy music--memorable music.