Trombonist David Manson has fashioned an extraordinary array of compositions for this quintet, featuring the great saxophonist Sam Rivers. Recorded at the Springs Theatre in Tampa, Florida, this band conveys an idiosyncratic approach. The opener “Fluid Motion,” commences with Doug Mathews’ bass solo followed by the three soloists’ sinuously executed choruses, awash with curved angles and zesty accents. It becomes rapidly discernible that this band packs a punch amid shifting rhythms that develop with the vitality of an unexpected windstorm. Drummer Anthony Cole and Mathews’ loose, polyrhythmic patterns support the hornists’ feisty exchanges atop modern bop like themes. Mathews’ booming walking bass lines on “Poodle Science” provides the band with a well-defined center of gravity. While Cole weaves in and out with a smack, crackle and pop approach. Rivers, Manson and trumpeter Jonathan Powell interact with fervor and resolve, whether performing complex arrangements or working thru a whispery ballad. At times, the band purveys a 60s style “Blue Note Records,” sound! But, the thrust of this outing is founded upon bouncy rhythmic structures to coincide with the artists’ expressive unison choruses. They delve into the free zone on “Crossdrift” – where Powell’s corpulent tone and lyrically charged soloing supplements a few jagged, bop motifs. Here and throughout, the musicians’ outwardly, magnetic camaraderie provides much of the magic. Consequently, the title Fluid Motion, denotes just one of the many notable attributes witnessed on this incontestably superb effort! (Zealously recommended...)
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