Bill McHenry: Bill McHenry Quartet Featuring Paul Motian (2004)
The CD has a spacious mood and a sense of restraint that makes it an example of contemporary cool. The quartet's lack of piano gives the songs an airy feel, which fits perfectly with the pleasing clarity of McHenry's tone. Several songs stand out: "Stars (Heavenly Bodies)" features subtle guitar work by Monder, who sounds like a gently chiming bell, and there's also a nice bass run by Anderson. "Social Unconsciousness" has a sense of urgency, with a fine Monder solo, and "Alfombra Magica" has a lovely lyricism and yearning that branches off into unexpected electronic directions.
Any time a group has Paul Motian as its drummer, it benefits from his effortless style and flexible precision. Motian has been playing drums for over sixty years, and he is part of jazz's bedrock. Yet Motian always keeps vital, and he's thoroughly comfortable with the younger generation of musicians. His work here enhances an already excellent group, adding an underpinning of history and inspiration.
Track Listing: 1. Alfombra Magica (6:20) 2. Social Unconciousness (4:50) 3. Time (5:16) 4. Dimensions (6:56) 5. Music has Meaning (9:54) 6. Stars (Heavenly Bodies) (4:28) 7. Idea #1 (2:58) 8. Two Chords (3:06) 9. The Hit (5:14)
Personnel: Bill McHenry : tenor saxophone; Ben Monder : guitar; Reid Anderson : bass; Paul Motian : drums.
Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent
Style: Modern Jazz