There is still plenty of room for individual solos within the context of the songs, and the challenge still exists for the players to create music that is exciting for both them and the audience. What isn't there are all the opportunities for fills and accents, complicated time changes, and long-winded solos. New Orleans style jazz like this is far more concerned about the tune itself than about finding different ways of interpreting it or looking for and responding to its emotional context, as later styles were.
While it's true none of the compositions on this disc approach work done by performers like Charlie Parker or John Coltrane in complexity, that is no reason to discard it out of hand and discount its influence on musicians. Friar's Inn Revisited is a great album full of fun music and first class musicianship, but more important, it serves as a reminder of just how good this style of jazz is.
Art Hodes wanted to make a disc that honoured the memory of a group of players who helped shape the musician he became. What he has given us 35 years later is a package of great jazz of a style that's not played often enough by players of this calibre. That makes Art Hodes's 1972 project Friar's Inn Revisited just that much more important. It's an example of how great this music can sound when played well. Hopefully it will inspire others to embark on similar projects and discover how wonderful this music can be.