Guitarist Ed Barrett makes a departure from last year’s self-titled release which focused on well-known jazz standards. Here, Barrett relies on his own pen for all but two of the 13 cuts. He also changes his mode from swinging and bopping to more progressive explorations made obvious on the distinctive opening cut, “54×11.” Granted, a guitar-led trio playing new material that doesn’t rely on strongly stated melodies isn’t immediately accessible, and perhaps that’s not the aim. Barrett does open the door, however, first with his talent and also by keeping the tunes short, thus making the album move right along. There is some swinging going down on Barrett’s “Lunch with Millie” that takes off with Dave Cappello’s drums joined by the walking bass of Jimbo Walsh. The guitarist brings a lot of emotion to the session when he softens the mood on his lovely “Boo’s Ballad” and the thoughtful closer, “Lament.” The inclusion of two classic tunes, “Footprints” and “Stella By Starlight” are welcoming in their familiarity. Lunch with Millie isn’t a “for guitar players only” album, though they’re bound to be the first to pick it up. Others should find it increasingly convivial with each listen.