Venerable modern jazz drummer/group leader, Lou Grassi’s improvising “PoBand” aggregation, join forces with famed “Art Ensemble of Chicago” saxophonist, Joseph Jarman on this effervescent release titled, Joy of Being. The drummer’s compelling polyrhythmic attack provides the often steamy undercurrents for a production that is chock full of round robin type exchanges, and the soloists’ verbose proclamations. On the twenty-four minute opener “Rhythm Rules,” Jarman initiates various motifs for trumpeter, Paul Smoker, trombonist, Steve Swell and Perry Robinson, although the musicians ultimately abide by an autonomous approach, as they recharge their gears on the fly. With “Airplay,” Grassi augments the horn sections’ tonalities with articulate flurries and sweeping rolls. However, “Po Jar,” is all about brash, wily soloing melded with an abstract march type pulse framed upon darting unison choruses and Smoker’s blitzing lines. Here and throughout, the ensemble soars skyward via a free flight methodology. Otherwise, there are quaintly organized passages brimming with fluttering notes and softly stated themes, witnessed on “Making Points” and elsewhere. Simply put, the PoBand is at the top of its game with this altogether stirring release. Recommended.
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