Liam Sillery may be a U.S. born and bred musician but the music on Outskirts has a very European feel to it. Though at its heart, this CD is in the Modern Mainstream tradition, the rhythmic extrapolations of "Prana" and the Free Jazz of "Black Rag" have more in common with the music coming out of Frankfurt than they do of the Blues-derived Modern Mainstream of U.S. based groups. Even the track "Blues for Lifetime" is more about cool abstraction than of mining the emotional depths of the Blues ethos. Of course the question on geographical influence is merely an academic question and of secondary importance to central question of whether the music is any good. Fortunately, the answer is "yes." The title of the CD gives a clue as to where these guys are coming from; this music may be out Mainstream tradition but, much of the time, it skirts that happy boundary between the traditional and the Avant-garde. Sillery's fine playing is equally matched by the inventive inside/outside lines of born-mate Blostein. The rhythm section is well matched to the soloists too: Stacken plays some interesting, probing lines, particularly on the aforementioned "Blues" and "Bag." Sperrazza is a strong and inventive drummer and Morgan does what all good bass players do; providing a firm foundation when necessary but following his cohorts into the more abstract realms when the music calls for it. The leader's tunes are both ear-catching and effective vehicles for improvisation--I particularly admired the contrapuntal touches on "Blues" and the deliberate 1/2 step dissonances between the horns on "Wrong Number." I enjoyed Outskirts and have no hesitation in recommending it to you.