Stealing conspiratorially under your feet, the dark balladry of Twilight speaks modal, stark, humorous. Then perhaps it recoils and rebuilds. Shifts shapes and defines. Says yes when it means no and vice versa. So, at the behest of their own slippery, interior curvature, U.S.E. Trio, saxophonist Andrew Urbina, drummer Matt Scaranoand bassist/leader Sandy Eldred, follow-up the enjambments of Impact (LabelWhoAble, 2020) with the rhizome like Twilight.
A boisterous, worthy successor, Twilght opens with "Tonal Gravity," and maybe your first thought isn't damn that's a good one! But what is tonal gravity anyway but the emanations from the first seven tones of the Lydian mode? Or maybe it isn't. Who's to say? Isn't that why we find ourselves where we are?
That question and all other pending emergencies are what render the insistence in Urbina's cry. Constantly in motion, Urbina veers from one jig-saw elliptical to the next, playing off and against the added flex of Scarano and Eldred's pandemic-timed trampoline. There's a sonorous urgency to Urbina's voice but also an athletic humor. And he needs it as the rhythms distend and eddy. Modify and bend. Take you 4/4 to the precipice then vaporize. And that's just the second track and the title one.
"Hooray!" bounces into being, but there's a pensive shade to Eldred's percolation. Like dancing with one eye on your partner and the other on the exits. "Before the Dawn" proves Scarano has a rock 'n' roll heart at his center but will cut time either way. Besides, all three are readily conversant and multilingual. It makes for mystery and mayhem. It makes for many repeated imaginings.
Tonal Gravity; Twilight; Hooray!; June; Before the Dawn; The Black Sea