Jonathan Moritz: tenor and soprano saxophones; Steve Swell: trombone; Sean Ali: double bass; Carlo Costa: percussion
In over two years since its commencement the Carlo Costa Quartet has presumably reached a point where the music created by the individual entities feeds on its own propulsion, not needing private specifications to ascertain what works (most everything, we would say) and what is instead in need of some tweaking. In the latter circumstance, the musicians themselves surely know something on improving an interactive conceptualization.
The best representation of the refined equilibrium distinguishing the group is perhaps found in “Soak”, a rewarding aggregation of puissant pulse and wide-ranging tones enriched by each member’s intelligent conduct. There you can get a precise idea about how to condense precious essences when contrastive timbres behave as good neighbors, be it the bowing/scraping of strings and metals by Ali and Costa or the trade of partial constructions – halfway through reserve and resolve – between Swell and Moritz. Potential disarray reversed into an indication of spacious-sounding mannerliness.
In truth, a veritable democracy is expressed by the entirety of Sediment, a debut album that sounds in equal parts impregnable and well ventilated. In spite of the Italian percussionist’s name defining the project, there’s no actual leader. All gestures are driven by the practical gravity of an instant decision; the deriving sequences are more perceivable as parallelisms of small acoustic units than fully fledged counterpoints (although, technically speaking, they are). No comparisons are serviceable in this case: just go with the flow, pick your favorite spots, walk light-minded amidst the timbral relations. Then extract significance at your level of sensibility.