The group opens with Sada," a slow and probing composition that allows them to get their footing and explore the tactile quality of the music that moves along at a thoughtful and patient clip. Siena" begins with a strong and vibrant clean sounding trumpet solo, playing a lengthy and confident section. Sanchez's saxophone enters in a tentative fashion before building with great speed and facility, playing with a beautiful strong deep tone. Werner develops a piano solo with a rich, full bodied approach before the full band returns sounding larger than five pieces as they conclude in a dynamic and powerful fashion.
Solo piano opens the title track Balloons" in a melodic and probing manner with occasional Keith Jarrett like vocalisims. After a ringing and thoughtful piano interlude, the horns enter developing a lilting and floating medium tempo. There's a fine and buttery sounding mid-tempo trumpet solo from Brecker that slowly builds in intensity to a nice peak, backed by solid and inventive percussion. Strong, potent saxophone takes over with a well controlled, yet intense, interlude. The full band returns to the suspended and airy melody for the conclusion.
An up-tempo full band introduction begins Class Dismissed," with a mellow and creamy trumpet solo that builds to a confident and clean climax. Ringing piano at a medium feel is back by nimble bass and drums, developing a potent trio interlude, running fast and dexterous. (Antonio) Sanchez builds an epic drum solo by starting slowly and quietly and adding rhythm bit by bit until he sounds like a drum choir of several musicians playing simultaneously. The full band returns to take out the set and the album, which was a very fine set of music and should appeal to a broad swath of jazz fans.