Jazzmagazine, Disques d’émoi
Review, a 75-minute retrospective, is a startling reminder of just how inventive Mantler is, working confidently across contemporary composition, jazz, improv and progressive rock. Twenty, for example, features guitarist Mike Stern, Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason and the LSO strings. The Sinking Spell has Robert Wyatt singing Edward Gorey’s words. Mantler deploys his raw materials with poetic intensity, but without artifice or pretension. This collection is too brilliant to ignore.
John L Walters, The Guardian
Now that is what I call a supergroup – Jack Bruce, once of Cream, on vocals, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason on drums, Michael Mantler on trumpet … and lyrics by Harold Pinter. Mantler’s mix of modern European music and jazz has always attracted motley collaborators – the above line-up occurs on the portentous “When I Run” from 1987. Elsewhere, on this career overview, we hear Marianne Faithfull, Kevin Coyne, Don Cherry, Mantler’s wife Carla Bley and the jagged pioneers of the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra. Strings soar, guitars clang, the words of Samuel Beckett and Paul Auster are intoned, and Pharoah Sanders’s sax hits the stratosphere on “Preview”. … Here is “difficult” music that is easy on the ear.
John Bungey, The Times