Ergo: If Not Inertia (2012)
The musicians seemingly navigate towards checkpoints, as a sense of adventure permeates these largely slow to mid-tempo pieces. Yet each track tenders a contrasting set of circumstances, glowingly evidenced on "Two for Joy," where Sroka's yearning notes resonate a simple a melody atop drummer Shawn Baltazar's briskly trickling cymbals parts, spurring a sense of urgency, and seeding a counter-maneuver-like approach. They spiral into an airy and bustling scenario, tinted with Sam Harris' minimalist piano voicings. In other spots, they delve into avant-garde territory, sprinkled with Sroka's electronics treatments that seldom overtake the core attributes of a given composition, but add bizarre nooks and crannies. Halvorson's wily guitar lines on "The Widening Gyre" provide a continuum of abstracts, meshed with keys and trombone dialogues, as the artists' swerving thematic developments morph into playful, multihued choruses.
Ergo's modus operandi is not easily categorized, which is a good thing. A mark of distinction pervades throughout these compositions, partly engineered with budding layers, climactic opuses, subtle tonalities and a horde of compelling contrasts via Sroka's unorthodox and probing compositional schematics. Hence, subsequent listens unearth newfound attributes.
Track Listing: Sorrows Of The Moon; Two For Joy; Little Shadow; If Not Intertia; The Widening Gyre; Gonz; Let's.
Personnel: Brett Sroka: trombone, computer, whistling; Sam Harris: piano, prepared-piano, Rhodes electric piano; Shawn Baltazor: drums; Mary Halvorsen: guitar, effects (1, 5, 6); Sebastian Kruger: acoustic guitar (7).
Record Label: Cuneiform Records
Style: Beyond Jazz