Matt Steckler, driving force behind the ensemble Dead Cat Bounce, joins three other reed soloists and an actively charged rhythm section in a program of Steckler compositions. Chance Episodes (Cuneiform Rune 323) is the concretion of the session, so to speak, and is some kind of concretion at that!
It's the dynamic of a tightly interactive sax quartet with bass and drums, playing some charts that have a modern ring to them (sometimes a la Elvin Jones' classic recordings with multi-saxophones and rhythm). The interplay, written or otherwise, between the horns is beautiful to hear and there are very good soloist in there too. The music combines the heft of a little big band with the flexibility and spontaneity of a small group.
Stickler is the man of the hour, though. He knows what to write for such a group. It brings out the best in the soloists and stands in its own right as extraordinarily valid contemporary jazz composition.
Grab this one and you'll grab a platter of irresistible goodies. This one stands up and bites you on the ear. One of the surprises of the waning days of 2011!
This story appears courtesy of Gapplegate Music Review by Grego Edwards.
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