Sean Driscoll: Islands
The band includes saxophonist Bill Vint, pianist Patrik Andren, bassist Carlos Sanoja, drummer Antonio Sanchez, and percussionist Doug Hinrichs. Lead voices Vint and Driscoll offer pleasant melodies with some improvisation. On "If You Ask," the duo performs unaccompanied, gently rolling out a fresh expressive ballad. "Where We're From" is Vint's up-tempo tenor saxophone feature, while the syncopated and driving "North" features Sanoja's electric bass in the spotlight. Pianist Andren has several solo spots; his work on "Bright Spot" and "3 Faces" is filled with enthusiasm, and his keyboard work on "Archipelago" provides appropriate small-town, remote-area, folk music scenery.
Driscoll's guitar work is contemporary and jazz-fusion oriented, but never loud or aggressive. His melodic approach combines appealing phrasing with improvised fills and spurts. There's a brief, untitled, unlisted bonus track at the end. It's a group improvisation that allows each member of the group to say "so long" in his own way. Recommended.
Track Listing: Half Circle, Half Square; Archipelago; No One to Tell; Watch You Fly; Where We're From; Bright Spot; If You Ask; 3 Faces; North.