How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Saxophonist and composer Juri Pukl is a man of many parts. He has ensconced himself in jazz, but he is also involved with pop, rock and hip hop. His compositions are strongly ingrained in the written note but he views a distant horizon as he and his band mates set out on the road to improvisation. All of this serves him well on EARchitecture.
Pukl balances muscularity with gentleness on this well selected passel of tunes. As an improviser he holds on to a trenchant feeling that rides the waves of emotion he creates or he can caress the contours of a melody before opening it to the wings of his imagination. The parallels find the perfect nest on "Vertical Counterpoint." What begins as a polite conversation with trumpeter Jason Palmer
stills the tempest on the Fender Rhodes, the lure is complete.
The title "Intense Brain Actions" belies the warmth and tenderness that head the composition. What begins as a tender ode dissolves into high levels of intensity Pukl once gentle and warm, loosens volatile shards only to be met by the cool ministrations of Ortiz's piano, once more the calm after the storm. The stylistic intervention draws the saxophone into its cocoon, but temperament dictates Pukl escarp the texture with another torrid fusillade. Interest has been constantly primed by surprise.
A funky bass lines kicks-off "Hot as Summer" and sets the canopy for the slinky and sinuous Pukl. But the underlining factor is rap, and Raydar Ellis captures the positive feeling of the words that are wrapped in the simmering swell of the composition.
Pukl's amalgam of sound and approach stamps him as a musician who essays creativity into a fine art.
Track Listing: Digital Life; Crazy; The Beauty of the Unseen; Vertical Counterpoint; Hot as Summer; Intense Brain Actions; Bizgo.
Personnel: Jure Pukl: tenor saxophone; Aruan Ortiz: piano (1, 3, 4, 6), Fender Rhodes (2, 5, 7); Jason Palmer: trumpet (2, 4, 7); Rashaan Carter: double bass; Marcus Gilmore: drums; Raydar Ellis: spoken word (5).