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Whit Dickey Quartet: Root Perspectives

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Whit Dickey Quartet: Root Perspectives
If it were possible to inhale an entire recording, Root Perspectives by drummer Whit Dickey's quartet might be the perfect delivery system. The music Dickey has put together comes as currents of wind, both a breeze and a gale. It is a drummer-led recording, but with any session this drummer leads (or plays in as sideman) his playing always complements without dominating the music.

His new quartet includes pianist Matthew Shipp. Together, the pair have recorded dozens of sessions, beginning with their time in the David S. Ware Quartet in the '90s. Also in the quartet is bassist Brandon Lopez, who can be heard on Dickey's quartet recording Astral Long Form: Staircase In Space (TAO Forms, 2022) and trio outing Expanding Light (TAO Forms, 2020). Completing the quartet is a new recruit Tony Malaby an established veteran of the tenor saxophonist.

Malaby is the wild card here. How does he fit into the Dickey-Shipp domain? The answer, quite well. Opening with "Supernova," Malaby delivers a bacchanalian overblown saxophone sound, backed by Dickey's orchestration and Lopez's energy. The saxophonist pauses long enough for Shipp's thundering attack which fuels a conflagration of sound. Even with Malaby's powerful saxophone, there is plenty of room for each musician to be heard. Shipp and Dickey's cascading sound on "Doomsday Equation" highlights both Malaby and Lopez's expressions. Attention is drawn to Dickey's drums throughout, especially "Swamp Petals" where he strikes his kit and works the cymbals as an intentional contrast to the other's pace. He contrasts but does not conflict with Shipp's delivery of a dreamlike sound, while Malaby works the edges of his saxophone's upper and lower registers.

Track Listing

Supernova; Doomsday Equation; Swamp Petals; Starship Lotus.

Personnel

Tony Malaby
saxophone, tenor
Brandon Lopez
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Root Perspectives | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Tao Forms


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