In these dystopian times, it’s nice to hear an encouraging and optimistic musical voice. Brian Woodruff plays to the Buddhist philosophic drum on this Bodhi tree of musical musings with Michael Rodriguez/tp, Lisa Parrott/ts-ss, Alan Ferber/tb, Pete McCann and Matt Clohesy, and the result is a musical nepenthe of serene sensations.
Elisabeth Lohninger gives uplifting messages along with Rodriguez’s trumpet on the warm and loose “The Welcome Song”, creating a meditative lullaby with Closhey out in front of the elegiac horns on the title track and actually getting a bit saucy with Ferber on the boldly swaying “King Size Blues”. McCann shines as he sears through the hip horns on the Steely Dan-ish “Undertown” and rocks with Clohesy and Ferber on “War Paint”. For the leader, his brushes glide with aplomb on “Pirouette En Dedans’ and he bops with the best on “Freeway Doctor East”. Esalen Swings!