A beautiful large ensemble project from flautist Nicole Mitchell – and a set that shows just how far she's come in her music over the years! Mitchell has always been wonderful, but there's something especially visionary in this project – as there seem to be larger ideas at play informing the different tones and textures of the musicians, yet still the unified spirituality that always marks Nicole's music – that special blend that really sets her apart from so many of her contemporaries, and which makes her one of the few forces to still carry on the rich legacy of Chicago's AACM, and groups like Art Ensemble Of Chicago or 8 Bold Souls! The songs here come together in this really fantastic way – sometimes feeling improvised at their initial moments, but soon taking flight in these amazing colors that come from the mix of harp, vibes, cello, violin, flute, and saxophone sounds – a tonal depth we've never heard in Nicole's music before, and which marks a huge step forward for her as a composer. Yet the music also has all the core organic energy of other Mitchell recordings – thanks to a collaborative lineup that includes David Boykin on tenor, Aruan Ortiz on piano, Benjamin Duboc on bass, Helene Breschand on harp, Sylvain Kassap on clarinets, Renee Baker on violin, Cesar Carcopino on drums and vibes, and Anais Moreau on cello. Titles include "Only One Like Him", "Building Stuff", "Cold Hard Facts", "Explorers", "Listening", "A Piece Of Advice", and "Towards Excellence".