ES2 is signatory of trombonist Erick Storckman and keyboard player Eliot King Smith, each of whose initials, ES, are therein squared, and who have a pronounced liking for the dignified funk side of the house. Dignified funk? Is there such a thing? There is now. It's definitely funk but sports an uptown NYC patina even when tear-it-up guitarist Pete McCann jumps in with both feet, soloing. Thus, if ya wanna think Steps Ahead, Rippingtons, Yellowjackets, Fattburger, 'n that sort of thing, then go ahead, I won't stop ya, but there's a more constant energetically basic jazz factor going on here than with those other ensembles.
Rock, too, as, again, McCann just wails when let loose. Storckman on 'bone and Cliff Lyons on sax pair up for lyrical harmonies when not soloing, and Smith can claim a lot of the ol' Zawinul broad palette colorations as he occupies damn near the entire midground…but Joe by way of Romantic inclinations. My favorite cut? Poor as Food, a showcase for Smith and Storckman (you can never get enough trombone, y'all). I know, I know, I'm nuts about McCann, and he's barely on the track, but, man, the thematic variations and returns there are entrancing, with Scott Neumann hitting the traps first off-kilter metronomically and near the end almost Moon delirious, the band twisting all around the catchy measures. I loves me solos and tons of improv from all involved, I really do, but there's much to be said of a well-crafted ditty that ya hafta hear again and again, and this is one of those beasts. That's why I liked Passport so much.
The engineer's not credited, though the mastering is (Andy VanDette, who perhaps handled both), but it's a very good documentation job, everything perfectly balanced (coulda used a wee bit more mike on Andy Eulau's often hoppin' 'n poppin' bass, tho'), glowing with new jazz light, woven like a main course replete with appetizer, desert, and wine. Too often, this ilk of sonics suffers from too thin an inter-discourse element, but Algorhythms is rich and seasoned, tasty. Everyone is fully committed and lovin' the gig, but damn, man, that McCann! Lots of Chuck Loeb and outta control Lee Ritenour in him, so, next time, guys, more o' dat, please!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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