A collaboration with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Mark Ferber, pianist Mika Pohjola offers a follow-up to his Sound of Village duo improvisations. Pohjola features a free jazz vein of the 1960s, known as proprietary territory of Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Paul Bley and Rashied Ali. Coupled with original compositions by Pohjola, Xavier Montsalvatge and Burt Bacharach, Ball Play is a one-hour long enjoyment which naturally spans several decades of musical expression.
Ball Play opens with the title-track ... continues with a more original-spirited Two Pages, which repeats and develops a short motive in the first half, and then gradually moves toward a free flow of thought. The standards, Star Dust, These Foolish Things and the Burt Bacharach original What The World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love are among the best renditions on the album, and this is where all three musicians are fully engaged in the twisting of the familiar source material. Pohjola's brightest solo contributions can be heard on "Song of Trust" and the strange traditional-oriented Jazz Blues. An oddity on the album is the Catalan composer Xavier Montsalvatge song Ninghe, which is played without alteration from the original.