Last year, guitarist PJ Rasmussen and crew released the debut Adventures in Flight CD, a mixture of straight ahead and fusion nicely balanced for maximum niche-obscuring value allowing one and all to just have a damn good time. Well, this year's Another Adventure continues that romp atmosphere and even features the increasingly omnipresent Scott Robinson on tenor and soprano saxes for a coupla tracks, backed up by Lauren Sevian on baritone, both gents flanking the band's Nate Giroux (alto & tenor). To understand what that means, we need tread no further than the initial offering, Full Speed Ahead, a wonderland of mixed tempos and variegated modes, things getting deliciously kuh-razy as pianist Jim Ridl tears everything down to abstract foundations.
As before, Rasmussen is extraordinarily generous in distributing solo spaces, his intent centering on each song as an entire unit rather than a showcase exalting the six-string aspect. When he does come in, though, it's with muscle and often enough a purposely ragged grace contrasting the smoother horn sections. Then, of course, there are the languid balladic songs and passages, like the intro to Another Adventure, where the gent lays out and lets the horns lay a groundwork transitioning into a semi-boppy pastorale for his pointillisms.
Under a Wave, perhaps the mellowest cut of the set, shows Rasmussen can ALMOST craft an entire ballad in its own right when he wishes to, but the urge to take things beyond peripheries is inescapable, thus even that cut undergoes a sideways ramp-up…thank God (I dig a good ballad, but I likes me some energy even more). The promo lit attributes Rasmussen's wont to the Blue Note tradition, but I'd add the CTI vibe as well, looking back to a slew of releases by Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Eumir Deodato, and other estimables.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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