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 it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.