Brad Wheeler's original compositions fill The Future Was Yesterday with the kind of tension and release that drives much of modern Jazz. The walking bass and ride cymbal provide release, while the leader's tight saxophone lines and the pianist's forceful harmonic landscapes color the session with a balanced palette. Guitarist John Moulder, who appears on four tracks, delivers an equally forceful array of harmonic textures that drive Wheeler's compositions hard. He brings both acoustic and electric models to the session with emphatic changes in direction. The leader employs soprano for three of his interpretations, offering adventurous themes that pierce and move. Like caffeine, his forceful lines drive with animation and energy. Wheeler's tenor, on the other hand, allows him to express a smoother aspect, both emotionally overt and deeply felt. His ensemble interacts cohesively; however, the arrangements place each voice out there alone for a considerable portion of the program. Naked and on the spot, the artists are required to bring absolute pitch control and rhythmic clarity to the forum. They do so with ease. While Wheeler's program contains a few understated sections that lag uncharacteristically, his driving impetus succeeds in bringing fresh ideas to the fore. "The Future Was Yesterday" drives with sizzling intensity as tenor and guitar jump at the chance to weave a unison line through the ensemble's collaborative foray. As a tone poem with numerous changes in direction, the piece stands out as the high point on an album that brings some fresh material, some languid filler, and plenty of heart into the studio.