On the Seattle quartet’s first recording since Hope in 2004, Matt Jorgensen + 451 continues to explore a particular brand of jazz-rock fusion that is more subtle than your average pounding, thrashing, over-the-top variety. However, leader Jorgensen’s fiery and excessively busy drumming often overwhelms and distracts from the group sound as well as the soloists. Mark Taylor plays mostly a sweet-toned alto, with a lyrical, unhurried and restrained improvisational approach. Keyboardist Ryan Burns has a similarly controlled style on organ, Moog and Fender Rhodes, the latter played with a gorgeous chimelike tone. Bassist Phil Sparks exhibits a thick and penetrating sound and a melodic jazz sensibility in his solos.
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