could signify a paradigm shift for alto saxophonist Travis Sullivan's eighteen-piece Björkestra, a unit dedicated to performing arrangements of Icelandic pop vocalist Björk. Sullivan goes back to his fundamental mainstream jazz roots on the lyrically rich New Directions
, assembled with memorable comps and sterling interplay from his quartet. Sullivan's vocal-like tonalities and muscular alto work casts an acoustic game plan that often yields electrifying results.
Sullivan generates memorable compositions while injecting a spirited aura into the program, making "Tuneology" serve as a fitting analogy for his sensitized approach via a brisk, tight-knit bop groove, interspersed with drummer Brian Fishler
's snappy Latin beats. Sullivan's fluent phraseology is wrapped into a full-bodied sound amid his cunning improvisational segments while the rhythm section sizzles, complemented by pianist Mike Eckroth
, who dances around the primary theme.
The quartet reaches for the stars on "Tuneology." With memorable licks and gravitating performances, the music attains a higher level of interest, countering the influx of post-bop modernism that sometimes moves forward without much traction or significance. Sullivan abides by a qualitative musical ethic on New Directions