Josh Sinton is a member of the Brooklyn jazz community who has been making a name for himself with his baritone sax, playing in contexts like his Steve Lacy repertoire band, Ideal Bread. His free-wheeling Predicate Trio with cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Tom Rainey is a combustible unit that showcases his more improvisational side.
Seven of the nine tracks here are written by Sinton and feel like old-school, fire-breathing free jazz. "Bell-ell-ell-ell-ells" establishes the loosely aggressive nature of the group with Sinton's heavy baritone sound barreling over Hoffman's thick string plucking and Rainey's punchy, dancing percussion. "Blockblockblock" is a heavy mix of relentless sax bellowing, choppy bow attacks and thrashing drums. "A Dance" features Sinton snaking his bass clarinet over a low, creeping groove carved out by Hoffman and Rainey.
On "Propulse," a heavy, careening baritone-led roar alternates with a honking rock 'n' roll stomp. Then Hoffman's bowed cello engages in an agitated dialogue with Sinton that leads into a three-way maelstrom of screams, throbs and rattles. "Unreliable Mirrors" goes through several phases with a thrashing opening that features bass clarinet yelps and cello squeals, a march interlude, and faint group noises, ending in a dark melody where Sinton stalks menacingly, Hoffman swoops down in opposition and Rainey colors with cymbal washes and snare accents.
"Taiga" and "Idonal" are collective free improvisations with even more of an experimental edge. "Taiga" pits vocalized sax noises and frisky bebop riffs against passionate arco cello, while "Idonal" wraps skittering cello lines and oozing bass clarinet in Rainey's percussive whirlpool.
Josh Sinton is a master of the baritone sax who uses the entire range of the instrument and can play with hammering force as well as sinuous melody. Christopher Hoffman makes a great sparring partner for him, and Tom Rainey, as usual, is a magician in whipping together rickety accents and fleet rhythms that support and propel his bandmates. This is excellent exploratory music from three musicians who know how to complement each others' sounds.