Violinist Jeff Gauthier doesn’t have the most distinctive touch in the world. His is a clean, classically derived style, which can sound rather anonymous on his latest recording, One and the Same. What Gauthier can do, however, is put a band together. As he does with his record label, Cryptogramophone, Gauthier uses his band, the Goatette, to feature a bunch of underexposed West Coast improvisers who give this set a terrifically balanced, spacious and menacing sound. The band takes its cues from Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi/Warner Brothers period-to make the connection explicit, the group even covers Bennie Maupin’s “Water Torture.” Gauthier takes a few solos here and there but, by and large, he cedes the spotlight to his band.
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