Michael Farquharson: The Arrival

That Canadian bassist and music professor Michael Farquharson finds great joy in invention is evident immediately on his inventive work, The Arrival (Jazz Inspiration Records JID9317; 66:20). Though many of his tracks-like the acid jazz-meets pop-funk “1969,” which opens the album-have an experimental feel, they make good emotional sense, showing off the emotional mood-painting skills of a true composer. “My Kindred Spirit,” for example, twists classical chamber string tension with Farquharson’s virtuoso basswork, offered in dark, singing lines. “Amelia’s Skye Dance” moves with the stately, elegant texture of an Indian influence, “Gabriel” throbs, walks and dances with its storytelling sax, and “Koko” fuses bass and drum in bubbling, percolating celebratory runs. This outstanding album takes pieces of the familiar and binds them together to create involving, emotion-packed stories.