The formidable duo of drummer Gerry Hemingway and tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin leans heavily on the artistic spectrum by enacting lucid imagery when navigating through dimly lit corridors and wide-open spaces. The stereo separation enhances the capacious aspects of this impressive outing.
The duo leaves a bit of room in-between, while eliciting responses from its listening audience. At times aggressive, ominous and pensive, the musicians propagate a set of intriguing storylines throughout the variable sound designs.
On "Sustain and Footwork," they offer a metaphorical depiction of an unhurried strut, tinted with subtle theatrics, and wily maneuvers. Quirky, experimental, yet cogently developed, Hemingway sets the pace in motion via a prancing groove that alludes to the sound of footsteps, tendering a framework for Eskelin's blustery articulations and darting lines.
The duo excels at theme construction and offers a basis for the mind to interconnect with the shadowy progressions, raising the pitch and closing it out on an ephemeral whimper. These longtime collaborators and noteworthy stylists are among the leaders of the new jazz, amid all the cunning abstracts and improvisational mechanisms that underscore their magnitude within the grand schema.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.