The Seattle-based group of alto saxophonist Wally Shoup, bassist Reuben Radding, and drummer Bob Rees offers eleven diverse and intense improvisational pieces on Blue Purge. This followup to 2003's Fusillades and Lamentations finds various moods in its path as it progresses from the wobbly "Ruffing It" to the playful "Depth Charge," the serene "Gut Luv," and the minimalistic "Moiling" and "Lunar Dust."
The willingness of bassist Rees and drummer Radding to engage Shoup beyond the commonly prescribed roles of rhythm make the album's motions more dynamic, spontaneous, and fresh. In doing so, Blue Purge avoids the urge to brood and delve into chaos, as is routinely the case in lesser albums tackling the free and the improvised. Effective in their succinct delivery, the eleven tunes are spaced and delivered with assurances on the music and not on length. Though it may be a difficult find, Blue Purge will please and intrigue those interested in jazz that is free and exciting without the noise and the unnecessary glumness.
An interesting and worthwhile side note to this album is the generous support provided by Earshot Jazz, a Seattle, nonprofit organization dedicated to "support jazz and increase awareness in the community."
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