Shot x Shot: Let Nature Square (2008)
The band Shot x Shot excels in the art of group improvisation. A term tossed about too often without consideration for the words, 'group' and 'improvisation.'
This, their second recording, follows the self titled 2006 live date from St. Mary's church at the University of Pennsylvania. It had a ghostlike sound, a sort of archeological remnant, with echoey vibrations bouncing throughout the church. The quartet, formed at Philadelphia's University of The Arts, is comprised of saxophonist Dan Scofield and bassist Engle (members of Sonic Liberation Front, an African percussion-infused jazz group), saxophonist Bryan Rogers (Bobby Zankel's Large Ensemble), and drummer Dan Capecchi (Jeff Baumeister Quartet).
This studio date derives its sound more from the players than the space. Certainly, the acoustics play a large part again, exhorting the concept of a group sound that dominates individual improvisers. The five tracks presented, develop through organic or natural growth; the spark of genius here is the manner the band expands their music without resorting to traditional head-bridge-head with soloist each taking their bows.
The opener, "Scans," makes order out of seeming chaos and the closing track "Autobonsai," both written by Dan Scofield, speeds itself into a self-contained burnout completion. The two tracks by drummer Dan Capecchi (the confrontational "Oh No" and the meditative "Overlay") highlight the wide range of music making this band is capable of. The sole contribution by bassist Matt Engle "Triple Double," might be mistaken for a Ken Vandermark 5 composition with its intricate, yet powerful horn driven paths.
No sophomore jinx here, this group continues to impress.
Track Listing: Scans; Triple Double; Overlay; Oh No; Autobonsai.
Personnel: Dan Capecchi: drums; Matt Engle: bass; Bryan Rogers: tenor saxophone; Dan Scofield: alto saxophone.