Relative Pitch

A poker of musicians whose activities and reputations are growing by the day, nominally led by inquisitive contrabassist Brandon Lopez (a Joe Morris student, among other things). The tracks are also four, duration ranging from about 6 to over 23 minutes.

It’s a rather easy-to-solve case of “no frills” improvisation crossing various levels of dynamic diversification. The density/rarefaction ratio varies in function of individual choices and spontaneous combustions, the latter provided by the quartet’s occasional proclivity to raise a modicum of hell. The unrestrained outbursts exhibit the album’s most persuasive qualities: at times obstinately shamanic, somewhere else they represent the foundation of a solid-looking scream-out-loud building. Nelson’s tenor sax is quite expectedly at the forefront of the “liberation department” in those moments.

An improved sense of reciprocal attention emerges in the quieter sections. The phrasing becomes less convulsive, the colors more visible. In absence of actual pinnacles, there’s still a measure of fulfilment to be found in the sheer vibration of the instruments, independently from what they’re actually saying. The interaction proceeds soberly, almost whispering sometimes, often inviting the listener to be a close-mouthed part of it.

Fiery, never sloppy or overindulgent in any way. These players may not flash their technical skill for the necessities of cheap enticement, but the music they produce surely offers several points of intrigue.

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