Since its 1980s inception, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks quartet has had an unusually expansive sonic palette. Orchestrating some of the best Earthworks material for a 10-piece band is logical in theory and, judging from this release, exciting in practice. Captured live at New York City’s Iridium in late 2004, Bruford and saxophonist/arranger/fellow Brit Tim Garland join pianist Henry Hey, bassist Mike Pope and a roster of top American soloists, including sax/flutist Steve Wilson, trumpeter Alex Sipiagin and (on two cuts) trombonist Robin Eubanks. The piano sound is marred slightly by distortion, but Hey’s solos are consistently stirring.
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