Voted "Best CD of 2007" DOWNBEAT
Even while he was working with Terence Blanchard from 1995-2001, pianist Edward Simon was steadily building a solid catalog of his own ensemble albums that fused jazz with Latin and a multitude of South American rhythms. That vibe has continued in his years since leaving the trumpeter's fold, coming to its greatest fruition with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade (half of Wayne Shorter's Quartet) on Patitucci's discs Communion and Songs, Stories & Spirituals. With Unicity, Simon leads his own project with the trio, expanding upon their vibrant chemistry. The project can be appreciated by casual jazz fans who just like thoughtful, sometimes swinging melodies (the galloping "The Midst of Chaos" being the most explosive, spirited moment) and hypnotic meditation passages. True students of the art form and its potential for fusion with world cultures will appreciate this outing on a deeper level, as the brooding, multi-movement "Abiding Unicity" and its reprise are shout-outs to Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti, and "Prelude #9" features a clever time signature switch from the original composition by Catalonian composer Federico Mompou. Some of this contemplative depth might be lost on the casual listener seeking something to emotionally connect with, but what comes through is the effortless shared passion the trio have for true jazz invention.
Jonathan Widran allmusic.com 06/10/06