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September 2007

Graham Haynes
Full Circle

On his first album in seven years, cornetist Graham Haynes has produced a set of music that sounds like an unholy marriage of modern jazz, drum and bass, and space-rock. It might be too schizophrenic for the trip-hop crowd and it’s definitely not jazzy enough for the straightahead listeners, but everyone in between should be pleasantly intrigued with this engaging but slightly uneven set.

“Turandot Overture and Excerpt from Act III” opens the album with heavy, distorted bass and echoed cornet lines before everything collapses into a loop that turns the piece inside out. “Second Quadrant” has a similar sound, with a breakdown reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive” that fits the jerky arrangement of sounds. Likewise, a slightly out-of-tune piano sounds perfect amid the fuzzy riff in “Standing Before Time.” On the downside, Haynes’ deep-blue long tones in “Quartet Circle” never deviate from the slow, noirish melody, turning what began as a cool soundscape into a 14-minute endurance test.

Full Circle doesn’t showcase Haynes the soloist, since his cornet lines are spare and lean, often translating through an array of effects when they show up at all. But that role seems secondary here to the greater task of creating a weighty blend of sounds.

Originally published in September 2007
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