Anthony Branker's 10-movement suite, initially written in response to the forced migration of Syrians during their country's civil war, also points to the open racism, bigotry and cultural erasure on the rise in America, circa 2023. The ambitious, sprawling song cycle opens with the fusion-edged "The Door of No Return," its title a reference to the Senegalese site where Africans were captured and forced onto slave ships bound to the New World; the piece is enhanced by Alison Crockett's spoken word segments and a repetitive riff that builds in intensity. And the album closes with the turbulent "Placeless," centered on fiery exchanges between saxophonists Walter Smith III and Remy Le Boeuf and fueled by drummer Donald Edward's creative, jagged-edged propulsion. The long journey from there to here encompasses the melancholy strains of "Sundown Town," led by trumpeter Philip Dizack and the saxophonists; "I, Too, Sing America," based on a Langston Hughes poem and again featuring Crockett; the frantic, swirling "Indivisible," launched by guitarist Pete McCann's air-hanging intro; the laidback "We Went Where the Wind Took Us," enhanced by solos from bassist Linda May Han Oh and pianist Fabian Almazan; and the cycling "Sunken Place," its title nodding to the themes in Jordan Peele's social-conscience horror film "Get Out." Branker, a Rutgers University jazz prof, has delivered a bracing set of bracing, challenging music that's simultaneously disturbing and inspiring.