IN TRANSIT – Shifting Moods


In Transit is a group consisting of pianist Michael Jefry Stevens with three Swiss musicians: reedist Jürg Solothurnmann, bassist Daniel Studer and drummer Dieter Ulrich. Shifting Moods is their second release after 2007’s Moving Stills on Unit. The quartet’s primary drive lies in the proposition of completely improvised material, created on the spot whenever they meet. This organized autonomy is devoid of untidy expansions, directing towards the sort of real-time lucidity that makes some of the pieces appear as previously scored. Every member’s behavior weighs the same in this joint effort, moments of rarefied jazz-scented classiness – typically characterized by Stevens’ ever-elegant suggestions – alternated to less predictable sketches of cracked linearity in which Solothurnmann shines for his absolute lack of rhetorical ostentation, constantly managing to find the right pitches to express a concept in its entirety. Studer and Ulrich never conduct themselves as a mere rhythm section, instead furnishing the interplay with propulsive hiccups and sharp contrapuntal punctuation enhanced by gorgeous arco sections and idiosyncratic anti-patterns. An acutely sensitive collective inner ear is the actual basis of this refined music, a tad brainy yet always offering interesting twists and turns.

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