Bringing together an international assortment of forward-thinkers, Peter Sparacino looks far and wide with the music he presents on the debut from Orkestra Eustoria. Dealing with cellular-level ideals and astronomical designs, both of which can be gleaned from the album cover, this New York-based saxophonist finds himself in front of a powerful pack that can stop on a dime and groove on a higher level than most.
With David Binney directing the album's flow by serving as producer, adding synths and contributing the quick "Intro," Sparacino is given expert navigational advice. He harnesses it in a paradoxical way, delivering music that's rhythmically rooted yet driven toward the stars. That's made clear up front, with the celestial rock of "Epicity" and "FutureClub." Both numbers prove pointed in rhythmic direction, sly in turns of phrase, and restless in runs to the outer limits and back.
While the album maintains a consistency of direction and presence throughout, a few factors contribute to an occasional separation in sound and vision. "The Hustle" leans toward Carnatic ideals, with bassist Panagiotis Andreou enlivening the mix with Konnakol contributions. The bouncy "Folk Song," with guest flutist Sarpay Özçağatay joining Sparacino's soprano, stands apart with its embrace of tropically-infused Hebraic overtones and shifts in character. And a pair of minimalistic interludes loosely breaks the album into thirds while adding a dose of mindfulness to the mix.
The bandSparacino, Binney, Andreou, keyboardist Isamu McGregor, guitarist Aki Ishiguro and drummer Engin Gunaydin is hardly an orchestra in terms of size, making this project a bit of a misnomer. But if vision counts for anything, this crew has earned the moniker. With bubbling riffs, glazed goodness, odd-metered brilliance and dynamic design elements, Sparacino has put together a small ensemble that packs a big punch.
Intro; Epicity; FutureClub; Interlude 1; The Hustle; InterDweller; Le Bumpier; Interlude 2; Folk Song; Blinker Sync;
Peter Sparacino: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; David Binney: synthesizers; Panagiotis Andreou: bass, vocals
(5); Isamu McGregor: keyboards; Aki Ishiguro: guitar; Engin Gunaydin: drums; Sarpay Özçagatay: flute (9).
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