The Allmusic review by Thom Jurek awarded the album 4 stars stating "In sum, Spirit Moves is a welcome departure for Douglas, who has been working with his longtime electric band and more recently with his great Keystone group. It's beautiful because, though it moves radically from the concerns of his other groups, it does indeed restate his deep love for the tradition while expressing his forward-thinking notions of group interplay as well as his own healthy, warm sense of humor". In JazzTimes, Josef Woodard wrote "On Spirit Moves, Douglas puts an intriguing songbook of originals and inventively retreated cover songs before his able and aesthetically willing brass cohorts".PopMatters Will Layman observed "It is a project that, beginning from its name, ought to be a kind of tribute. And it is, in part. But the best tribute to Lester Bowie, of course, is to do something original and surprising. And Dave Douglas manages that here by using a smaller band that remains rich, subtle, impressionistic, and versatile—but still fun. Maybe it was a bit arrogant to name his latest band Brass Ecstasy. But, you know, that’s what it is".