Led by trumpeter RJ Avallone and reedman Matthew Maley, the quartet sound and vibe conveyed by Search signals an air of maturity that's rather uncanny for such a young band. Partly inspired by the musical canon of Ornette Coleman, the artists project a distinct sound into these largely, memorable and astutely engineered compositions, teeming with gobs of depth and snaking movements.
The band launches the proceedings with Coleman style, and the band original "Blues It Is," as the musicians purvey a gathering of the troops sense of imagery followed by swaying flows and soaring horns. This is a fluent ensemble and it's a study in probing contrasts abetted by the musicians interweaving mini-motifs, awash with the requisite peaks and valleys. Ultimately, the musicians reside on a horizontal musical plane, so it all makes for a cohesive and stylistic engagement.
Their multifarious game plan hits home on the perky bop workout "Intentions,," spiced with knotty unison lines atop a crisp and prominent rhythmic gait. Yet they inject a tribal-jazz, world vibe into the grand schema on "Joujouka," featuring Avallone's overdubbed wooden flute lines. The quartet also pursues scrappy soloing jaunts amidst the intertwining loose groove of "Breathe," where bassist David Moss kicks matters off with a booming ostinato pattern.
With vim, vigor and a touch of finesse, this unit instills a polytonal mode of attack into the overall program. They expand, contract and regenerate a given theme via nicely articulated solo spots, while often tempering the currents with off-kilter discourses. There's a lot to like throughout this well-rounded debut effort that was obviously produced with tender loving care and a great deal of focus.
Personnel: Matthew Maley: tenor saxophone, clarinet; RJ Avallone: trumpet, wooden flute; David Moss: bass; Bryson Kern: drums.