"Impasse," described in the liner notes and on the web page as "modulations on the theme of stress," employs Jolicoeur's gutsy open trumpet, Eduard Tseltlenok's vibrato-laden alto saxophone, and Smith's creative trombone antics in a slow and deliberate tone poem. Similarly, "Galandriel" and "Lotus" are slow, spiraling pieces that bring together opposing voices while maintaining their focus; the latter is a light expressive improvisation with ample use of the acoustic guitar's lighter nature.
A longer piece more than fifteen minutes in duration, "Affrrr" introduces Smith's tuba and various percussive & electronic effects to achieve an image of the Saharan Simoon. Alto saxophonist Tseltlnok sets up a placid sand dune landscape and Saint-Marie's quiet electric guitar melodies add to the fresh-air effect. Smith's trombone lengthens the "calm before the storm" and finally, it's the drummer who lets loose the tremendous blinding winds in the form of an extended solo, backed by howling guitar phrases and rumbling tuba refrains that carry the imagery off toward the far horizon.
Dedicated to the memory of John Coltrane, "Allegorie" is based on "A Love Supreme" with appropriate stretching-out from the electric guitar. Trombone and trumpet color the piece and add appropriate solo material. "Smog" is loose and relaxed with a blues tinge; co-leaders Sainte-Marie and Durand lay down the structure and mood while trombonist Smith and tenor saxophonist Bryan Highbloom provide melodic choruses. It's an enjoyable piece with a relaxed swing, recalling many different aspects of the history of jazz. Recommended.
Track Listing: Space Spice; Impasse; Galadriel; Lotus; Smog; Allegorie; Affrrr.