Touted as contemporary/jazz/world outfit, the six instrumentalists who comprise “Crosscurrent”, live up to the band’s moniker as they indeed fabricate jazz grooves that are often commingled with windswept choruses, bubbling rhythms and sprightly soloing amid an altogether organic approach. However, the first piece, “Intersections” incorporates a motif that rings of the 80’s Pat Metheny songbook, due to guitarist Eric T. Johnson and saxophonist Carl Clements’ lilting unison choruses and sweet-tempered melodies.
With the band’s fourth release titled Rituals, the listener will be treated to hip, jazz-based grooves and intricately developed voicings along with a slight jazz-samba tinge and peppery rhythms on pieces such as “Stop & Go” and others. Hence, Clements’ radiant flute passages and Johnson’s articulate chord progressions, performed on acoustic guitar, elicits dream laden imagery on “Mirrormere”, whereas the band engages in some interesting harmonization and well-placed accents on “Seven Of Mine”. Here, the rhythm section grabs the spotlight as they render a pumping and somewhat bouncy pulse in support of Clement’s brawny yet thematically rich tenor sax soloing, although the primary motif is comprised of extended notes and nondescript patterns. And while this band serves up nothing inherently novel, Rituals makes for a pleasant listening experience, enhanced by a vibrant track mix teeming with comforting sounds and an overall enticing ebb and flow.
Track Listing: Intersections, North March, Firefly, Guinnevere, Stop & Go, Crosscurrent, Mirrormere, Seven Of Mine, Ritual, Now The Day Is Gone
Personnel: Ben Cook; piano, keyboards: Eric T. Johnson; electric, acoustic and nylon string guitars, Roland VG-8: Carl Clements; tenor and soprano saxophones, bansuri, flute: Joshua Davis; acoustic bass: Bertram Lehmann; drums, percussion: Norm Bergeron; percussion
The first jazz record I received
as a visiting gift from my
Japanese uncle at his
international division of
Toshiba EMI Tokyo was a
sample copy of Miles Davis'
Bitches Brew. A game
changer redirecting my
browsing habits and collection.