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The debut recording by Platform 1 comprises a multinational cast of progressive jazz musicians who easily knock it out of the park with blazing free-bop motifs, introspective sojourns, shuffling jazz-boogie vamps and celebratory interactions. Add the often feverish solo spots and tumultuous climaxes into the mix to round out a divergent program, culminating in a highly imaginative set of structured song forms, subdivided with ample portions of improvisation.
Amsterdam-based free jazz drummer Michael Vatcher launches "In Between Chairs (for Roswell Rudd)" with sweeping patterns that segues the band into a capacious outlook, tinted with harsh contrasts. Trumpeter Magnus Broo generates some high heat via fleeting and raspy notes, as the band navigates open terrain within a loose framework, followed by blossoming choruses. There is a lot going on as trombonist Steve Swell's pathos-heavy wah-wah notes preface Ken Vandermark's gravelly, blues-soaked tenor sax phrasings.
The quintet fuses a semi-controlled jazz vibe with enticing diversions, but seldom abandons the primary thematic foundation, often steeped on bubbly rhythmic sequences and circuitous routes. There is much to digest, yet the shrewdly coordinated and sometimes off- center flows suggest that the upbeat free form improvisational sequences abide by an underlying sense of camaraderie.
Personnel: Magnus Broo: trumpet; Steve Swell: trombone; Ken Vandermark: tenor saxophone, Bb clarinet;
Michael Vatcher: drums; Joe Williamson: bass.