The rhythmic impetus has been known to suffer in drummerless ensembles. Suffice it to say, that's not a problem with this band. The British soprano and tenor saxophonist Tim Garland is probably best known in the U.S. for his work with Chick Corea's acoustic band, Origin. Here he leads an excellent trio that includes vibist Joe Locke and pianist Geoffrey Keezer.
Rising Tide is the band's second album, an attractive collection of performances featuring Garland's Latin-tinged compositions. Garland, Locke and Keezer are subtle players, yet it's the forward momentum of this music that initially impresses. The opener, "After Dark," sets a funky tone, and while subsequent tunes explore other feels and influences-"The Hourglass" begins with Debussy-esque tall chords leading into a 6/8 groove; "Shelter" is a tastefully conceived merging of jazz and a quasi-minimalist classical aesthetic-a confident, borderline aggressive approach holds sway.
Keezer secures the bottom end nicely, while Locke and Garland act as members of the rhythm section-which, in this context, they essentially are. Garland's inclination as a composer and improviser is to fill in the blanks and leave little to chance. That's not always a good thing. In this case it works very well.