Although he is better known for fusion and pop sessions, pianist Bobby Lyle is a competent instrumentalist on mainstream and bebop fare. He handles the melodies well and improvises effectively throughout this '85 set. While he will never be McCoy Tyner or Herbie Hancock, Lyle demonstrates a more varied approach and harmonic creativity than on any of his more commercial dates. But this date's instrumental star is bassist Stanley Clarke; whether it is his rippling accompaniment or his full, huge solos, Clarke justifies his reputation.
Much like Evidence's Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out two-fer, We Travel the Spaceways/Bad and Beautiful also features one album from the Chicago period and one from the New York period. The difference is that this New York session (Bad and Beautiful) is probably the first recording made in New York, and the overall sound is more closely tied to the Chicago sound than the later New York material, where rhythm and percussion dominated any melodic elements.