Though this is nominally a guitar-led fusiony six-piece small big band, PJ Rasmussen doesn't at all dominate and in fact co-features a cat we've heard before over in Alex Snydman's CD (here): Chris Pattishall, who's appreciably more boppy here than in Alex's stand. Though I'm impressed with Pattishall in solos, as in Adventures in Flight, I also have to say his chord choices behind the band are exactly right, perfect, always enhancing the modalities, slipping in a layer of light and leashed energy twixt rhythm section and front line. To pigeonhole this band other than I already have—as a fusion unit but not of the norm—would be a difficult task, as its sound represents a very broad spectrum of jazz musics. I'm at the moment listening to Are You the One? and getting a lot of Freddie Hubbard not only in Danny Reyes trumpet but also through Rasmussen's charts, along with the Grant Green-ish guitar basing he favors.
Are You the One is followed by Sunday Driver, and, man, that overflows with various influxes: a bit of Curlew in odd sax notes from Nate Giroux, some slowed-down X-Legged Sally, a bit of Mats/Morgan, Philip Catherine, cinematics, all kinds of stuff. The weirdest part is everything appears to be a form of mutant fuse-bop. Look for Weather Report, Gil Evans, CTI elements, G.E. Smith & the SatNiteLive band, etc.—and when Stolen Miracles winds down as a gabbling demented mariachi combo besotted on knee-buckling tequila…well, what the hell??? Cool as all get-out, and I woulda dug 15 more minutes of the madness.
Bass player Adrian Moring's not given enough soloing time, nor is drummer Steve Johns (and I could easily have done without the thankfully brief vocal recitations in two cuts), but when they do step out, especially Moring, their lines are interestingly contrasty. Moring possesses a knack for simple progressions enhancing the narrative more than would be expected while Johns is the rolling wave beneath them all. As mentioned, though, Rasmussen's no gloryhog, so the surface contours of the CD shift constantly rather than being frozen in accommodating just six strings, as happens so often in this kind of venture. Nonetheless, ask me to name just two reference points, and don't be surprised when I stare at you, flummoxed, all kinds of possibilities running through synapses and cortexes.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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