Erik Telford: Kinetic (2010)
The record is bookended by brief excerpts from the title track which, unlike the other tunes, was recorded with a New York quartet. The full tune contains two very Miles-esque trumpet solos by Telford, and some nice liquid guitar from Viviani, over a chugging, dirty organ and infectious funk beat.
More interesting, though, are the record's other long tracks, recorded in Austin. "Horizon Problem" has a catchy, funky organ and guitar line and some excellent horn charts, with a flurry of ecstatic collective improvisation coalescing at the end in a triumphant return of the melody. Death Trap" has the suitably brooding feel of the soundtrack from some gritty seventies detective movie, with Telford deploying a wah-wah and delay pedal on his horn to mind-warping effect, and a great electric piano solo by keyboardist Angelo Lembesis. "The Rival" overlays some nice horn charts over a very Bitches Brew-like ostinato of guitar, bass, and piano, with guitarist Anderson providing a particularly blazing solo.
But Kinetic has more to offer than just fierce grooves. "Rosemary" is a brief but lovely piano/trumpet duet, with Telford paying tribute to the memory of his mother. His playing demonstrates a melodic gift and an impressive maturity of conception. "Lifted" has some nice trumpet/sax unison lines that recall the sound of classic mid-sixties Blue Notes, while "3012" gives the band space to roam in a breezier context, coaxing excellent solos from Telford, saxophonist Matthew Maley, and Lembesis.
Throughout, drummer Charles "Swift" Phillips serves the music admirably, providing a solid footing where needed and constantly stoking the fire with nimble fills and rhythmic modifications. The recording is also particularly good, with a well-conceived stereo picture that allows every member of this large band to be heard, while retaining the power of the unison statements.
In all, an impressive debut from Telford, and a most pleasurable hour of modern fusion at its finest.
Track Listing: Kinetic (prelude); Horizon Problem; 3012; Rosemary; Kinetic; Death Trap (intro); Death Trap; Lifted; The Rival (intro); The Rival; Kinetic (postlude)
Personnel: Erik Telford: trumpet; Matthew Maley: tenor sax, clarinet; Ulrican Williams: trombone, euphonium; Angelo Lembesis: keyboards; Nick Murray: organ, synth bass (1, 5, 11); Danny Anderson: guitar; John Viviani: guitar (1, 5, 11); Marcus Cardwell: electric bass; Devon Tramell: drums on (1, 5, 11); Charles "Swift" Phillips: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced
Style: Modern Jazz