The saxophone/bass/drums groupingat one time a rarityseems to be undergoing a renewal of sorts. Drummer Rudy Royston
offered up a fine example of the genre with Rise Of Orion
(Greenleaf Music, 2016). Saxophonist JD Allen
dove deep into the blues on Americana
(Savant Records, 2016), and sax man Jason Rigby
presented a breakout effort on the marvelous One
(Fresh Sound New Talent, 2016).
Now it's the group Possibilities' turn, with Get 'Em
Saxophonist Tim Bennett can be tagged the front man, as the writer of six out of seven of the disc's compositions, though the group's approach to making music is egalitarian. Bennett and his bandmatesdrummer Peter Manheim
and bassist Dan Stein
all studied at Oberlin Conservatory, with Stein thereafter attending Juilliard for his Masters and Manheim pursuing further studies in Brazil. So foundations are strong. But the music is far from academic.
From the opening notes of "Vibin,'" the sound had a fluid, organic feeling. Bennett's saxophone style is pure, vibrato-less, in the fashion of Stan Getz
or Mark Turner
. He plays the straight story line of the tales; Stein and Manheim supply ambient turbulence, the storm clouds rumbling on the horizon of a pastoral landscape.
"Band Aids" finds Bennett blowing cool over a metronomic rhythm that expands and contracts, moving the initial tranquility and injecting an slightly ominous vibe. These are laid back sounds, underlain with a covert intensity that bursts forth on occasion, then settles back into the groove.
Pure Imagination," the one non-Bennett original in the set, feels like a soundtrack to a movie scene featuring a protagonist sidling along a dark hallway, searching for the supernatural, and ultimately not finding it. The closer, "Studio B," bops, wrapping up this flowing and cohesive, cool-toned trio outing.