The CD is more evidence of the growth of the group and the consistently fine charts that Eric creates. It also demonstrates once again what a terrific band leader Eric is.
—Stu Vandermark, Boston Jazz Scene
Here’s the tension between structure and freedom that defined that first album (Myth Understanding, 2008) and so much of the best post-’60s avant-garde. But here’s the thing: Hofbauer has developed a hard-bopper’s skill with hooky song forms. Wherever these guys roam, the thematic material is never far from sight, and there’s always deliberation in what they do. If you’re going to experiment, do it with authority. Somewhere, Charles Mingus is smiling.
—Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix
Back in 2008 this band—the only change here being bassist Sean Farias in for Michael Montgomery—produced one of the best albums of that year. In 2011, they’ve gone and done it again. Like Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols and Andrew Hill, guitarist Eric Hofbauer’s music benefits enormously from having the right musicians to bring it to fruition, and in this instance he’s blessed…with the extraordinary depth of empathetic interplay that clearly comes quite naturally to these players…a band with no agenda other than that of making highly distinctive music.
—Nic Jones, AllAboutJazz.com
Eric Hofbauer & The Infrared Band’s LEVEL might be trying to conjure up modern day mythology, but the sophistication and virtuosity that went into making these recordings is no made up story. No, these guys are for real.
—S. Victor Aaron, Something Else!