The press release is surely accurate, pertaining to this Swiss ensemble's ability to gracefully fuse conventional modern jazz processes with avant-garde improvisational activities. Led by bassist Luca Sisera, the band's nomenclature includes post-bop, free-form soundscapes, knotty unison choruses and effervescent thematic flows, complete with melodic intervals and some hustle and bustle. Moreover, each piece imparts a distinct storyline, which is an aspect that underscores the entertaining qualities of this invigorating studio date.
" Neptune's Chant" is one of nine diversely concocted works that highlight Sisera's creative musical mindhe doesn't nestle the group within one or two modes of attack via his multifaceted approach to compositional form. Here, pianist Yves Theiler and Sisera begin the proceedings with a flourishing sequence of movements, while sketching the primary motif with harmonious phrasings atop a budding groove. Saxophonist Michael Jaeger's extended solo is quietly magnetic as Sisera and drummer Michi Stulz drive the pulse and rev it up during the bridge. The soloists gradually raise the pitch amid a zigzagging rock beat, leading to brisk unison flurries that incite an air of excitement. But the pianist tones it down towards the finale as the quintet brings it all back home, so to speak. Indeed, an attention-grabbing program that only gets better on repeated listens.