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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

CD Review: Sound Underground - Quiet Spaces

Alec Aldred (tpt/flug); David Leon (alt); James Udall (gtr).
(Review by Lance).
This is what the blurb says:
On Quiet Spaces, Sound Underground pauses to look closer at the world around us, revealing the intricate beauty of details that pass by unnoticed. The trio turns these moments inside out, leaping through a wide range of textures and sounds on a journey full of surprises.
True to Wayne Shorter’s mantra, a spirit of curiosity permeates Quiet Spaces. From beginning to end, the trio leaves no stone unturned. They question the tuneful themes of the opening “Tiny Kingdom” and the title track “Quiet Spaces,” reshaping them through wide emotional landscapes. On “Awake with a Start”, they examine the moment of being startled and discover its multitude of hues in Leon’s playful solo. Indeed, the three seem to find inspiration in the most unexpected of places. This is most apparent in the two-part “$2.43 Regular Unleaded,” which takes the hocketing beeps from a car door and a gas pump on a dizzying, mechanistic joy-ride.
An unmistakable characteristic of Sound Underground’s music is the way they weave improvisation and composition together into a single musical fabric, spinning stories that have both careful craft and captivating immediacy. In “Trio Tune for Tal” the melody threads dissonance through triadic harmony, which Udall continues without dropping a stitch in his solo finger-picking odyssey. The attitude-laden jabs on “Me vs Me, “reminiscent of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, morph seamlessly into a repentant trumpet cadenza. The three are remarkably compositional improvisers – evidenced no clearer than in Udall and Aldred’s deft counterpoint on “Strange Distance,” and Leon’s solo on “Wanderer’s Rondo” that seems to defy gravity. Several distant tours have given Sound Underground the experience to craft a thoughtful approach to their compositions, as well as the broad perspective to allow plenty of risk – fuelling their perpetual evolution.
Recorded live and without isolation, Quiet Spaces creates a unique acoustic space that highlights the intimate personality of the music. This approach draws attention to the kinaesthetic sounds of their playing – breath, key clicks, valve clicks, and fingers moving on guitar strings – bringing the listener into the room with them. On a few occasions they exploit the studio setting to create sonic spaces that are only possible here – the throbbing “A Moment Fixed in Amber” and the ambient dream-state at the end of “Now I Know.”
From the ringing calls of “Tiny Kingdom” to the noble serenity of “A Postcard, “Quiet Spaces promises wonder at every turn.
This is what I say:
"Couldn't have put it better myself".
Lance.
Sound Underground - Quiet Spaces available September 15 on Tiny Music.

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