Paths Unknown is the result of an improvised studio session by the Vector Trio, without overdubs. Trumpeter Scott Forrey employs loops and a plugged-in horn, and the music elicits notions of an outside jazz session by trumpeter John Hassell, coupled with the free-form side of late-'60s electric Miles Davis. The rhythm section generates a bouncy, groove-laden pulse, topped off with asymmetrical and offbeat digressions. Forrey's oscillating lines feature wah-wah-ish voicings and raspy choruses, often treated with echoing loops and soaring articulations. And other than a few structured passages where the band renders tricky unison runs, the improvisational element is a prominent undercurrent.
The players temper the flow a tad on the sublime blues "Noir Ripples, where drummer Marshall Hughey sets the pace with open/closed hi-hat strokes. But the unit's primary focus is to redevelop patterns and grooves. The musicians construct a few ethereal frameworks where the electronics take center stage, also working through multicultural rhythmic structures and avant-garde free-for-alls.
Ultimately, the musicians deliver a high-strung workout by flexing some muscle and partaking in a continual process of reinvention. The recording sort of reaches a plateau by the time track ten or eleven comes to fruition, but it's a curiously interesting and satisfyingly entertaining affair nonetheless.
Scott Forrey: trumpet, loops, electronics, percussion; Gary Rouzer: fretless bass, loops,
electronics; Marshall Hughey: drums, landscape percussion.
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