This is tenor saxman and composer JD Allen's tenth album as a leader and his fifth consecutive project for Savant. Once again, his regular sidemen for the past eight years, bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston, are back on board. Eight years is a pretty impressive stint for any band to put in together, especially in the jazz world and the ensemble work reflects the familiarity of the players, presenting a series of friendly obstacle courses hinged on spontaneous and collective choice-making. Allen's playing sometimes murmurs, and other times rises to a heartfelt cry, but he never abandons himself to free jazz screaming, or tangles himself up with knuckle-busting ribbons of notes. His phrases have a deep blues feeling, and his compositions are built around concise, memorable melodies which he repeats until they've sunk deep into the listener's memory. But whether he is looking back to the earliest forms of America's home-grown music or pointing the way to its future, JD Allen never fails to challenge and engage the listener as few of his generation can.