Driff Records labelmates, pianist Pandelis Karayorgis and reedman Jorrit Dijkstra assembled this impressive lineup with the intentions of keeping the "individual musicians in mind." The group moniker relates to a deep-sea submersible apparatus that draws a parallel to the ensemble's deep dive musical exploits. The band imparts a translucent region of sound via asymmetrical elements of modern mainstream and avant-garde framed expressionism. One of the reoccurring highlights pertain to the artists' inner-workings and mechanics in concert with ballsy horns charts; orchestral treatments, and a host of fascinating tonal contrasts.
The ensemble periodically abides by an all-hands-on-deck free jazz manifesto amid Karayorgis' occasional nods to Thelonious Monk's off-centered rhythmic structures. They aggregate lightly swinging motifs with quirky deconstruction episodes and abundant soloing jaunts by the hornists. On "Boter," the musicians bolster a medium-tempo strut with layered charts, heightened by one of the tenor saxophonist's raspy, full-bodied phrasings, leading to a terse finale.
The album's lengthiest piece "Bathychord" clocks in at 13-minutes, featuring either Jeb Bishop or Jeff Galindo's bold solo spot atop Karayorgis' trickling chord voicings. However, the band launches into overdrive and dishes out several phases consisting of alternating flows, leading to Taylor Ho Bynum's frenzied cornet lines. Additional experimentation and sound-sculpting methods are resident on the closer "White Sea."
Indeed, everyone was up for the occasion. But one minor complaint is that none of the soloists are identified on a per-track basis. Otherwise, Bathysphere is a compelling project as each piece tenders a distinct story. They bridge the gap between old school applications and a futuristic mindset, awash with complex geometric narratives and affable melodic content.
Personnel: Jorrit Dijkstra: alto saxophone, lyricon, analog synth; Pandelis Karayorgis: piano;
Tony Malaby: soprano and tenor saxophones; Seth Meicht: alto and tenor
saxophones; Charlie Kohlhase: tenor and baritone saxophones; Taylor Ho
Bynum: cornet; Forbes Graham: trumpet; Daniel Rosenthal: trumpet; Jeb
Bishop: trombone: Jeff Galindo: trombone; Josiah Reibstein: tuba; Nate
McBride: bass; Jef Charland: bass; Luther Gray: drums; Andrew Neumann:
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