The Spin Quartet consists of top-notch musicians who carve out an interesting group identity on In Circles. The absence of a piano or guitar from the instrumentation of two horns, bass, and drums gives clarity and an open quality to the music, aided by the fine writing from mostly band members. Trumpeter/flugelhornist Chad McCullough wrote five of the pieces, with the subdued "Oranges Are Supposed to be Orange" and bright-eyed "Haberdasher" among his wide-ranging creative inventions. Bassist Clark Sommers's two compositions, "Little Marionette" and "Meltdown," are Lee Morgan-like in their appealing melodies and horn voicings. "You Will Look for Yours on Earth," one of two from tenor saxophonist Geof Bradfield, is a memorable jaunt done with a backbeat and some twists of time flavored in.
Another McCullough tune, "Camping Lantern," perhaps influenced by music from Keith Jarrett's "Belonging" album, contains crisp and infectious lines from the horns skillfully connected by drummer Kobie Watkins, with Bradfield's ensuing solo evocative of Jan Garbarek's playing from the Jarrett group. McCullough's improvisations have subtlety and an interpretive quality that helps shape the direction of the music.