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Whit Dickey Quartet: Coalescence

Drummer Whit Dickey’s Coalescence (Clean Feed) is something like an abridged compendium of acoustic free-jazz performance practice, ranging from the minor key, ostinato-driven “Mojo Rising” to the free-time collective improv “Coalescence 2.” The record is very tight by free-jazz standards. Dickey’s slight compositions are nicely read-down by trumpeter Roy Campbell and alto saxophonist Rob Brown, two very adaptable improvisers who are superb here. Dickey has a huge jazz percussion vocabulary. He swings in about as many ways as is possible, and he’s got a fine touch and big ears. As a bassist, Joe Morris makes a very good guitarist, which is not necessarily a bad thing. He has a rather puny tone, sure, but he gets around the instrument very well and provides an active rhythmic counterpoint to Dickey. Not a perfect record, but very, very good.

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