Joe Morris: Wildlife (2009)
Wildlife is not simply a Joe Morris record with two talented sidemen, however. The record is a document of a working band of the same name, with saxophonist Petr Cancura and drummer Luther Gray. The record opens with an extended feature for the drums, the lengthy solo intro segueing to a wonderful sax lead, followed by more spirited percussion. "Thicket" is next, with Morris' bass ostinato bouncing and shifting in color throughout, calling to mind the texture and grounding quality of the kora, an apt functionality given the African influences in Cancura's work elsewhere.
The saxophonist conjures a wide array of moods and timbres, with a crooning sensitivity at one moment (the intro to "Crow," for example) or fragmented echoes of bebop in another ("Nettle"). The final two cuts both feature extended bass solos in the middle and Morris' trademark fluency with shifting texture, register and velocity. The heated propulsion on the final cut takes the CD out with a sense of determination, providing a clear image of an ensemble whose debut is a formidable point of departure.
Track Listing: Geomantic; Thicket; Crow; Nettle.
Personnel: Joe Morris: double-bass; Luther Gray: drums; Petr Cancura: saxophones.
Record Label: AUM Fidelity
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde