Russ Spiegel: Chimera

Nothing is static in guitarist Russ Spiegel’s world. Meters shift and chords collide as his sextet drifts free then recombines. His angular original compositions are optimistic, agitated or despairing in succession. Spiegel’s own playing alternates between sweet and acidic qualities, matching the shifting tone of trumpeter David Smith while providing sharp contrast to Nick Mancini’s gushing vibraphone solos. Even “Cherokee” is re-harmonized into something new and unpredictable, leaving one steadfast, waltzing ballad to stand like an island in swirling waters.