Saxophonist Rich Halley's duo outing and his son drummer Carson Halley, The Wild, is in the same vein as the tenorist's previous releases on his own Pine Eagle label. On the current album, the Halleys' characteristic unbridled spontaneity and the provocative creative zeal is simultaneously crystalized and tempered by melodic contemplation.
The wistful "Flat Plane of the Sky" for instance, is an abstractly impressionistic piece. Rich Halley lets loose a meandering pensive song over Carson Halley's sparse yet dynamic percussive interjections. Brassy staccato saxophone phrases match the drum kit's elegant and volatile galloping bursts. The resulting dialogue is dramatic and haunting.
The music brims with a primal energy as if inspired by the natural beauty of the unspoiled landscape of the American Northwest. "Snake Eyes" opens with melancholic longing notes over atmospheric beats. An exquisite grace and spirituality endows the pastoral tune. Carson Halley's cymbals chime in Rich Halley's evocatively mournful flute. Native American motifs are laced within the fabric of this memorable and gripping track especially in Rich Halley's resonant lilt and Carson Halley's hypnotic polyrhythms.
There are also moments of breathtaking vigor and moving passion. One example is the mercurial "Cursorial" with is riotous and stormy lines brimming with stimulating dissonance. Rich Halley blows fiery, rapid phrases while Carson Halley creates a restless momentum with his rumbling beats. The free-flowing exchanges between the two musicians remain quite lyrical despite plenty of delightful atonality.
This engaging and vibrant record concludes on a high note with the ardent "Notes From The Wild Lands." Rich Halley's raw and majestic performance soars and dives with organic sophistication over Carson Halley's complex, earthy percolations. Out of this intricate and intense backdrop emerges Carson Halley's solo that is thrillingly agile and fiercely emotive.
All twenty or so of Rich Halley's releases are superb and demonstrate high caliber musicianship so The Wild is no exception. Its uniqueness comes from its intimate ambience and the seamless artistic synergy between father and son as well as its improvisational rigor. It is a brilliant and mature work that demands and rewards close and careful listeni
Track Listing: Wild Lands; Progenitor; Flat Plane Of The Sky; The Stroll; Cursorial; The Old Ways; From Memory; The Recon; Snake Eyes; Notes From The Wild Lands.