Add a couple of double basses (Reuben Radding and Sean Conly) and an industriously self-confident drummer (Mike Pride) to a tenor saxophone – that of the leader Yoni Kretzmer – willing to recount lots of unmediated stories with a alignment of discipline, “positive” anger (…anger is an energy, remember John Lydon in “Rise”?) and ariose wiseness, and there are good opportunities for tasting a formula that warrants serious neural excitation across several hefty chunks of a CD. Weight is a letter-perfect title if one takes into account the rather overpowering bulk of the group’s overall texture, nevertheless the connections inside the action reveal the exact opposite of an untidy mess: these cats play understandably and vigorously, without forgetting that there is always a moment for a susurration and a caress.
No need to strain how the growl of the low frequencies tends to prevail all around the prospect, to the point that – in certain circumstances, at high volume amidst the rumbles and the rolls – identifying the actual pitches might become a little problematic for the aurally undisciplined. However, Conly and Radding often decide to share the arco/pluck duties, giving life to segments of bona fide skillfulness imbued with bilateral attentiveness. Kretzmer’s authoritative screaming is counterbalanced by his conscientious selection of notes, as he wanders between borderline fragments and ballad-like invocations in total comfort. Pride is an extremely responsive percussive talent, blending snappiness and non-violence in ever-clever fashion but certainly ready, when the time comes, to hit the heavy bag with hard lefts and rights. The sturdy opening statement “Number One” and the minatory-yet-elegant “Again And Again” embody all of the above at best, the system of rule remaining the same in between unprompted activities a go go and an urge for singing that is never disguised (“A Bit Of Peace”).