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Chris Jonas: The Sun Spits Cherries

Jonas also plays in William Parker’s group, as well as with Cecil Taylor and the Great Circle Saxophone Quartet, but on The Sun Spits Cherries, an album-length suite, it’s his work with Anthony Braxton that’s most relevant. Leading a fascinating line-up-tenor trombonist Joe Fiedler, bass trombonist Chris Washburne and percussionist Andrew Barker-Jonas continually inverts foreground and background activity, crafts lovely and unusual color combinations, and uses written material to instigate improvised stuff even more than Tsahar. Short unison bursts dot his musical landscape, creating a delicious tension with drones and graceful legato lines. In one particularly compelling passage during “Church,” Jonas breathes sharp pointillistic blurts while Fielder makes blubbery mouthpiece sounds and Washburne unfurls a didjeridoo-like drone-but the leader always keeps things moving, forcing the players to shift their focus with new compositional gambits. Although bold improvisation is a big part of this album, it’s Jonas’ imaginative, provocative compositions and arrangements that really stick out and make him one to watch.

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