Not being a big listener of jazz you’re getting the view of a rock listener here. I suspect jazz writers will deal with that side much better and probably in copious detail.
What I do love about this record is the bass and the freedom it has. Opening track “Blast Off” does just that and is tight and memorable, all the while held together by that long bass line around which the sax dances like you might expect from lead guitar. There’s some awesome bass distortion and no one could question the incredible skill Briggs possesses. The sax shifts from free flowing to repetitive and the drums are pretty much perfect in the mix. At 5:29 the length is spot on and to me is the highlight of the record.
The title track is over twice the length and more prog than jazz. It’s a more disjointed song and although I like tracks that twist and turn or are set out in contrasting chunks, it doesn’t feel entirely complete. “Wazzlejazzlebof”, on the other hand, sounds more jazz than metal or prog and I suppose this yin/yang explains why the record strikes me as jazz for metal/prog fans and metal for jazz fans.
There’s a couple more tracks more in the vein of the opener and a nice addition is a cover of “Celestial Terrestrial Commuters” by the brilliant Mahavishnu Orchestra and written in 19/8 time.
There are moments of flute and I’m the wrong person to ask for my opinion about that, but it works very well from a compositional point of view. I’m just not much of a flute fan.
So there you have it, from a rock point of view this is a record every metal or prog lover should spin. At the very least you’ll hear some amazing bass. Who knows, you might even get converted to jazz.