While stylistically rooted in the classic bebop approach of forebears Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery, Morell is not a "retro" player in any sense. He's got the aspects of the style down pat (softly blurred phrasing, minimal low-end twang, bluesy undertones), but he uses its vocabulary in a most refreshing manner. He avoids the fleet, showy facileness of many jazz guitarists, never blitzing the listener with a flurry of notes when a few well-placed ones will do nicely. Likewise, pianist Leonard Thompson and bassist Todd Sickafoose let the music breathe, exhibiting an invigorating conciseness. Thompson plays with an endearing balance of poetic lyricism and bright simplicity, recalling Keith Jarrett and Vince Guaraldi, who composed and played the music for the perennial Peanuts TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas. For his part, Sickafoose subtly keeps momentum going throughout, engaging in some lithe exchanges with the others. The exquisite result heard on the album successfully pulls off a few neat tricks: It's mellow without being lethargic, sophisticated without being pedantic, and soothing without fading into the background.