Had this CD been received in 2008, it would surely have made my personal top-ten list. Canadian reed man Quinsin Nachoff aligns with French modern jazz artists, including the co-leader and drummer Bruno Tocanne. Sans a bassist, the four-man horns section generates an excitable string of musical notions, sparked with adventurous shifts in strategy. As Tocanne's resonating drum parts generate a heavy and vibrant bottom end.
Featuring beefy pulses, swaggering grooves and pause/restart type charts, the quintet delves into complex unison phrasings amid brisk soloing breakouts. Powerful, yet pliant, the hornists enjoy equal ground while soaring skyward via an aggressive methodology that yields the proverbial knockout blow. In a sense, they play tricks with neural networks while occasionally tempering the gala with soft voicings and modern classical environs, abetted by Nachoff's sublime clarinet work on "Goodbye Lullaby."
One of the more captivating highlights of many can be heard on "Cascade," where trumpeter Frederic Roudet solos in linear fashions within his band-mates swirling arrangements. Think of jagged lines intersecting a rotating circle. Hence, the band paints lucid portraitures of sound, contrasted with gobs of emotive attributes. And in other regions of the album, the musicians flirt with the free realm while skyrocketing into the ozone during the peppery jazz-rock groove titled "QL."
This is the type of product that progressive-jazz aficionados should welcome with open arms and attentive ears as the core foundation attains a near flawless coexistence with the improvisational element. Sparks are flying everywhere! It's a magnificent showcase that imparts a lasting impression.
World music pioneer Adam Rudolph and his groundbreaking Go: Organic Orchestra join forces with Brooklyn Raga Massive to create the monumental new album, Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas (Meta Records). Ragmala bridges generations, cultures and traditions in a deep-rooted, forward-looking sound born of 21st-century innovation and hybrid voices. Epic in scale and ambition, the project features 40 world-class musicians including Gnawa master musician Hassan Hakmoun, legendary drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake, forward-thinking cornetist Graham Haynes, and tradition-blurring flutist...
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