The weariness of 'Towner' grabbed me immediately and sucked me in. There is great separation in the way New Dreams is recorded, meaning for instance sticks on cymbals are clear and discrete, the fatigued guitar character so kinetic whether induced via lead lines or strumming chords it matters not.
Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, David Sanborn, Jerry Garcia) is a bass guitar legend and plays very much an ensemble role here within the trio sound. I am unfamiliar - shoot me for this. Boom - with guitar synthist Barry Coates and drummer Jerry Kalaf.
'Faith' is the big tune melodically of all. What an achievement. Again such clarity in the sonics and in the execution, almost a baroque sense of counterpoint in the unravelling of Americana texture and the careful pitch bending that Coates so interestingly contributes to it.
Acoustic and electronic textures vie not at all for supremacy on New Dreams but simply jostle for space.
Not everything works. I skipped on over 'Before' quickly enough to find the next track (and yet subsequent listens made me reconsider) but loved 'Mays' (I guess a tribute to the late Lyle Mays).
But whatever - if you are into Methenyiana especially when Mays was so important as an intrinsic factor over many years beginning with Watercolors in 1977 then this record is essential as a parallel vision to his artistry and 21st century response on one level that leads into a different dimension as improvisations develop. Maximum respect overall.
Kalaf's martial rolls on 'Retrograde' however don't appeal so much as his dynamic pulsar feel elsewhere. So be patient and even here as Haslip's lines appear like magic when you'd least expect them to there's more going on than a few detailed listens can even hope to discover. SG