Brian Adler: The Helium Project Phase 5 (2012)
The latest chapter in the musical life of intrepid percussionist and composer Brian Adler springs to life in a most auspicious manner on "Up For Air," part of Adler's ongoing Helium Music Projectcomprised solely of downloadable tracks, each featuring a different set of collaborators, recorded in different places, yet with the same musical goals in mind. Ostensibly a collaboration between Adler and trumpeter Matt Holman, "Up For Air" features a nimble, interactive quintet with Holman in an appealing front line along with vibraphonist Bryan Carrott and guitarist Jesse Lewis.
Imbued with a tumbling forward momentum by Adler and bassist Ruben Samama, this piece wends its way through a variety of harmonic and rhythmic micro-environments, each featuring probing, memorable improvisations by Holman, Carrott, and Lewis. The dark, mysterious nature of the improv passages is somewhat quirkily offset by the tune's basically sunny, friendly theme.
The soulfulness and depth of the musical interaction here is evident right from the start. A most enjoyable slice of thoughtful and edgy-yet- accessible modern jazz from an intriguing new group.
Track Listing: Up For Air.
Personnel: Matt Holman: trumpet; Bryan Carrott: vibes; Jesse Lewis: guitar; Ruben Samama: upright bass; Brian Adler: drums.