Transit - Quadrologues (2009)

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Clean Feed Records: CF143 
http://www.cleanfeed-records.com/disco2.asp?intID=277

* Jeff Arnal (perc): percussion
* Seth Misterka (as): alto saxophone
* Reuben Radding (b): double bass
* Nate Wooley (t): trumpet

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Review
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by Stef

In 2006 this quartet released the CD "Transit", under the leadership of drummer
Jeff Arnal, with Seth Misterka on sax, Nate Wooley on trumpet and Reuben
Radding on bass. The band is now called "Transit", and it brings this wonderful
album of free improvisation. The first album was quite adventurous, with a very
dense and loud, sometimes violent sound. This album is even more adventurous,
but they let silence in, and quietness. The result is one of increased tension,
of an increased quality of the individual sounds, more attention to detail
(much more), less struggling between the musicians to get space, and hence a
more mature interaction, if I may use that word. But over and beyond the
tension, over and beyond the unusual and usual sound explorations, there is a
depth of feeling that is astonishing. The first track "Strata" already starts
with a strong trumpet performance by Wooley, going really deep, but the whole
band excells in the slow and intense "The Science Of Breath", a long piece on
which the long interwoven tones create something of a hard to place beauty. And
even if the horns define the most audible effects, listen how Arnal's drums
shift the deep structure by evolving from screeching sounds out of his cymbals
toward hypnotic repetitive rhythms on his toms only. So much in the background
yet defining the song's depth. "Flip" is more playful, toying with little
sounds, interacting all four without falling into a pattern, almost, but not
quite, and that's part of the fun, becoming elusive while playing the same
game. Fun is also there are the start of "Rapid Eye Movement", with a nice
interaction between Radding's bass and Arnal's drumming, with Wooley and
Misterka joining in the repetitive but weird sounds. Subtle and creative. "Z
Train" is more boppish - what else would you expect - in nature as defined by
the bass, with Arnal's drums going fully against the rhythm of the bass, while
sax and trumpet play slow phrases over the rhythmic excitement. Another
highlight of the album is the long "Speaking In Tongues", with Wooley leading
the piece with again a delight of a trumpet solo, that moves into a more
African tune and rhythm, but then in a context in which all options are still
open, without falling into clichés or patterns. In the hands of great musicians
free jazz is without a doubt the most rich and moving musical genre. And all
four of them excell here. The last track alone testifies to that. How they move
the piece from avant-garde sounds, to a more uptempo piece, on which Misterka
really shines with soulful and heartrending phrases. I have listened to this
album at least a dozen times in the past few days, and it sounds different
every time. There is lots of variation, lots of creative approaches, and a joy
to the ear. Don't miss it!		
01 - Strata.flac 11.641 MB
02 - Walking on Fire.flac 29.353 MB
03 - The Science of Breath.flac 38.681 MB
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