Charles Lane's second studio release, 'Awaken' is as exciting as it is unassuming. Reuniting Lane with bassist Chris Nolte and drummer Brent Jordan, Lane invited some new faces to this album. Pianist Dan Pierson and trumpeter Dan Nissenbaum are welcome, brilliant additions to Lane and his rhythm section. Lane's compositions range from complex harmonic and melodic explorations to simple, popular twists on the Jazz genre. Beginning with 'My Shattered Heart', the album begins with a beautiful melody on the soprano saxophone with a rumbling rhythm section, as if awakening from a dream. The second track, 'Criminal' is Lane's arrangement of the popular Fiona Apple tune. While careful not to imitate Apple's song, Lane does not try to outdo Apple, but rather pay homage to her craft as a songwriter and performer. The mysterious third track, 'Dust In The Clouds' is a moody and dark beautiful ballad that seamlessly moves from one soloist to the next. Radiohead's 'The Natioinal Anthem' from their landmark record, 'Kid A' begins with a Latin Groove and grows and grows into the solo section where Lane's saxophone and Dan Nissenbaum's trumpet play off of each other to build to one of the most refreshing climaxes on the entire album. The beautiful love song, 'Clarissa' has a tinge of Brad Mehldau to it and is a melodic centerpiece of the entire album. The hard swinging, 'Mr. Rosewater' is a simple, but fast-paced minor piece that catches each musician at their creative best. The closing epic, 'In Your Eyes (Sleep)' begins as a sultry hip-hop based groove and moves forward into what sounds like a pop anthem to end 'Awaken' on a strong and satisfying conclusion.