Twice Grammy-nominated Animation (Bob Belden, Pete Clagett, Roberto Verastegui, Matt Young, here with Bill Laswell and Kurt Elling as narrator) delve deep into current borderline science-fiction themes about the relationship between Human Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence. Machine Language is a suite of connected pieces that evoke the thrilling moods Miles Davis conjured from his early 1970s bands and records. There are long solos for trumpet and leader Bob Belden’s soprano sax, linear, spacey grooves, and layered textures for keyboards, notably the distinctive Rhodes electric piano of Roberto Verastegui. Bill Laswell plays bass guitar as if the Miles Davis gig was the one he always wanted – he even quotes ‘Ife’ (from Davis’s Big Fun) at one moment. The album scores high on atmosphere, and it sounds as if the five players who made up Animation, completed by drummer Matt Young and trumpeter Pete Clagett, had a lot of fun devising the twelve tracks. Sadly the project has acquired an extra gravitas, for it is the last album Bob Belden completed before his untimely death in May 2015 at the age of 58.