Rich, meditative instrumental music, finely crafted and heartfelt. Vigil is the second indie recording by the trio Trance Lucid, based in Oakland, California. The compositions, all by guitarist Dave Halverson, usually consist of repetitive themes that evolve subtly into new forms, rather like the music of Steve Reich but certainly not minimalist in nature. The three performers have strong ears for texture and thematic variation that keep this disc oceans removed from the usual dross of trance music and contemporary jazz.
Halverson is an extremely flexible guitarist with a wealth of fresh ideas and techniques. On most tracks he relies on an appealingly vibrant fusion tone, with nice deviations. “Baroquen” begins with a sprightly, brittle acoustic theme before the electric guitar arrives in a warm wash of delay. The guitar on “Panhandler” bears a rougher, funkier edge; “Claire” is reminiscent of Eric Johnson in a pensive mood, while “Aquarelle” leans toward the gentle melodicism of Joe Pass. All these divergences of style are well-chosen and befitting the individual tunes, not merely intended to flaunt Halverson’s noteworthy chops.
Bassist Bill Noertker and drummer Terry Lee generally remain in the background (Halverson is clearly the man in charge here), but their contributions are vital and unfailingly on the mark. Tunes like the Latin-tinged “Carousel” best illustrate the rhythm duo’s rapportive ability to listen and play creatively off each other while providing solid support for the guitar.
The end product of Trance Lucid’s musical equation is compelling, moving fusion that neither browbeats listeners with manic guitar shredding or dulls the senses like so much contemporary electric jazz. Vigil is music that one can either choose to relax by or explore with deeper concentration. And it makes for a darn fine freeway soundtrack as well!
5. Twilight Dim
6. Cloud 9
8. Pillars of Light
11. Last Dance
Dave Halverson: guitars, keyboards, piano, finger cymbals
Bill Noertker: fretless bass
Terry Lee: drums and percussion
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.