AAJ (Mark F.Turner) sez:
Recorded in New York in 2002... the ten selections were recorded with two different groups, including the talents of pianist George Colligan and bassist James Genus on one half of the tracks with pianist Andy Milne and bassist Darryl Hall on the other half. Both groups share the skills of drummer Steve Hass.
Ravi bookends the set with two of his father’s compositions “26-2” and “Fifth House”; each delivered with contemporary facelifts. His tenor tone is deep and muscular as he delivers angular and quick notes. On the aforementioned cuts the tempos are fast with Ravi and Colligan trading burning solos. Ravi is also equipped with a potent soprano arsenal on Jimmy Heath’s “Ginger Bread Boy” and Thelonious Monk’s timeless “Round Midnight,” which is reborn with a very funky groove.
Ravi’s own selections are also significant as he adds odd cadences on “Avignon“ and “The Return of the Olymbus.” Steve Hass delivers polyrhythms galore and Genus and Hall also provide staunch bass lines and solos. Slower selections continue to reveal a lush tenor sound on Mingus’s “Self Portrait in Three Colors”. The selection ends with Ravi silhouetting the melody behind a nice bass solo by James Genus.
BBC (Peter Marsh) sez:
This is a pretty fierce blowing session; the opening "26-2" (one of the album's two John Coltrane tunes) bursts out of the traps like a greyhound on steroids. The leaders's tenor wraps itself with an easy grace around the kind of fierce, metrically tricky pulse that Dave Holland excels at. This kind of rhythmic cut and thrust informs most of Ravi's original tunes; there are echoes too of Steve Colman's cerebral fun moves (particularly on "Between Lines"). But there's a warmth here often absent in Coleman's work.
Like his dad, Ravi has a gift for choosing drummers. Steve Hass propels two different quartet lineups with intelligence and a formidable technique which suggests he's been listening to the cutups of drum 'n' bass as much as Tony Williams or Roy Haynes. Like Billy Kilson or Marvin Smith, he's always up to something worth listening to, while on the slower tunes he's beautifully unobtrusive. Mingus's "Self Portrait in Three Colours" is especially lovely, with George Colligan's plangent piano underpinning an emotive, considered solo from the leader. Similarly Monk's "Ask Me Now" (opening with sweet solo statement from bassist James Genus) gets a sympathetic treatment...
barabara sounds sez:
This is probably my favorite of Ravi Coltrane's albums as leader. But you have to hear the man playing live — especially if it was alongside his mother. Not that I did — but there are two brilliant live sets posted over at Ish's wonderful Ile Oxumare, here and here.