The Chad Makela Quartet: Flicker (2006)
Joining Makela on this date are trumpeter Brad Turner, drummer Jesse Cahill and bassist Paul Rushka, prime players on the Canadian jazz scene who should now get the wider recognition they deserve. The band is tight and plays with great empathy. Makela is a driving, edgy force on the baritone saxophone. He shows a command of the instrument that helps him navigate through intricate alleyways, even as he brings an energetic power to his mission.
These skills come off most strongly on the bop-driven "Underdog. Cahill and Rushka set up the tune with an exhilarating, snappy rhythm, leading to unison lines from Makela and Turner that dwell on the melody. Turner has first go, creating bright lines that constantly change the shape of the tune. Makela's lines twist and contort, edging forward in constant momentum. It is an elevating performance.
The pace is slower on "Seventh Day Rain, one of the best tunes, where Makela infuses heartfelt emotion into his playing and Cahill splashes an array of colours on the cymbals to produce a rich sonic aura.
Track Listing: Flicker; Comfort Level; Secret Code; Seventh Day Rain; Underdog; My Ideal; Uprising.
Personnel: Chad Makela: baritone saxophone; Brad Turner: trumpet; Paul Rushka: bass; Jesse Cahill: drums.
Record Label: Cellar Live