How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Luminously recorded at East Side Studio in New York City, the superfine Confusion Bleue band reemerges with a sterling exposition, centered upon its democratic, but largely cohesive free-form manifesto. The musicians present a resonating group-centric sound, aided by Lee Pembleton's exquisite audio-engineering via a consortium of gusty improvisations and swirling breakouts. With rapidly-moving pulses, keyboardist Nobu Stowe
often steers or provokes the variable theme-building components, transferring to a rather inspiring group dynamic.
"Movement III" is one of seven "Movement"-titled pieces, highlighting the group's synergy and fluently enacted on-the-fly design mechanisms. Asymmetrical parts foreboding and playful, Stowe and trumpeter Brian Groder
Stowe tosses in a few classical overtures and avant R&B fragments, as he switches from acoustic to the Wurlitzer electric piano during the bridge. Thus; he conjures an alternating viewpoint, leading to the finale, where geometric flurries and an orbital gait may yield semblances of a steadily expanding loop. Moreover, guitarist Ross Bonadonna
outlines the perimeter with a brisk melody, surging toward the garrulous finale.
For the avant-gardist or progressive jazz aficionado, the musicians offer a significant alternative to the tried and true. As they explore the freer realm with a cogently stylized mission statement that combines a many-sided and highly impressionistic approach, abetted by unanticipated surprises and the occasional paradigm shift. (Passionately recommended...)
Track Listing: Track #1; Track #2; Track #3.
Personnel: Nobu Stowe: Steinway Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric piano; Ray Sage: drums; Ross Bonadonna: electric and acoustic guitars, alto saxophone and bass clarinet; Lee Pembleton: sound. Special guests – Brian Groder: trumpet; Lisle Ellis: double bass, acoustic bass and “bass & circuitry.”