Formanek finds the sweet spot in between. He doesn’t determine the entire piece, as a classical composer or big-band arranger would, but neither does he offer one theme and then allow his soloists to go wherever they will. Instead, he offers several as guideposts through each tune and allows his musicians to travel from post to post as they think best. Because the improvisers share a starting point and several interval points before the ending, they tend to stay in contact with one another along the journey. Rather than one person soloing while the other three hang back in support, all four musicians are constantly improvising, alternating who takes the foreground, but all of them always prodding and responding. And because Formanek is a bassist who thinks rhythmically, this give-and-take is as much about divisions of time as it is about pitches of notes.