Though everyone here is also on Calvin Keys' Electric Keys (here), Turnstyle is mostly a quite different record…although two tracks—the title cut and Stacking Wax—are very much in alignment with Electric. The rest, however, are mellifluous fusion, not sleepy-bye time, more like a humid metro NYC night at the club, everyone cooling out with mojitos and a little reefer, the band dropping into a laid back pocket, happy to groove on the down-lo and stay there, letting everything ice with intelligence. I don't know about you, but I NEED that kind of music a little more now than I used to. If we're going to go to hell in a handbasket, I at least want someone soothing my nerves without insulting my intelligence as we do so.
You also get to hear Keys wax Castilian in Left Coast Sangria, an unexpected but very welcome shift. In this disc's atmosphere is where bassist Matt Montgomery and drummer Thomas MacCree come a little more into their own. Not that they changed anything but that the milieu allows their work to rise a bit more to the surface. Matt Montgomery and Gregory Howe wrote everything and their axes, keyboards, influenced the more Zawinulish sound throughout. I caught Weather Report with Jaco in the 70s down in Tampa, and their approach, though highly repetitious, was like this material, an extension of the hallowed Body Electric day, here more citified.
The title cut sports a hypnotic short repeating line that slowly wells up and then fades again, one of several thematics in the song and a great device. Keys gets speedy and into cluster runs in various places but the horns always provide a sedative contrast, especially in Suddenly Overcast. And I'm not sure what guitar Calvin's playing, but it looks like an old Gibson Countryman and it's a beauty. You may not have heard of the Wide Hive label previous to this, but it's presently carrying Larry Coryell, Roscoe Mitchell, and Big Black among others, even issued a guitar-based CD with Coryell, Keys, Harvey Mandel, and Barry Finnerty. YOW! Estimate the legitimacy of its artistic intent by all the above, and you have an imprint worth checking out.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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