Matt Mayhall, Jeff Parker, Chris Speed, Fanatics, mattmayhallmusic.com

Tropes in 2016 was pretty stimulating, drummer Mat Mayhall even more Paul Motian-esque and echoing that emotion these small number of years on seeming even more taut and alive. This...

Published: 18 Feb 2020. Updated: 41 days.

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Tropes in 2016 was pretty stimulating, drummer Mat Mayhall even more Paul Motian-esque and echoing that emotion these small number of years on seeming even more taut and alive.

This time around the great Jeff Parker remains. He is succinct and meaningful as usual.

Paul Bryan who performed the role of bass guitarist before produces, engineers and even mixes the record instead. Oh and he provides his own vision. Keyboards are absent. There is a new rawness.

Reedist Chris Speed is again significant and contributes mightily. The tunes are Mayhall's and they have a winning concision to them plus there is a cover right at the end, on the bright side of the road in the joy of execution, of Bird's 'Dewey Square', and that is satisfying.

The clarity of the recording sound is excellent, especially well caught is the directness of the sax and when Mayhall unexpectedly explodes the kaleidoscope of accents are reset.

The tunes, cutting to the chase, make sense. When instrumental music in a band context seems like a human voice and breaks through all barriers, beyond even sheer groove as it does here, an ignited spark of the imagination has struck. That's more right than in any way wrong. SG

Out now

Matt Mayhall photo: Bandcamp

Tags: 2020 best so far albums / tracks