Earlier this year, trumpeter, flugelhornist, and composer Steph Richards showed exactly why she’s a rising force in avant-garde jazz with Take the Neon Lights, a zigzagging mind-meld of fiery postbop and hard-charging swing that dizzied up the senses. As for the drummer who sprayed the frenzied clusters of beats that fueled that stellar effort? That was Andrew Munsey. Now it’s his turn in the spotlight, and Munsey has renewed the musical bond he shares with Richards yet again—this time employing her as a member of his own quintet.
High Tide, his bandleader debut, makes plain the many talents of this Brooklyn-based polymath: nimble drummer, ambitious composer and producer, and now steady-handed chief of an avant-jazz group of heavies that counts among its ranks Richards, tenor saxophonist Ochion Jewell, pianist Amino Belyamani (of Dawn of Midi) and double bassist Sam Minaie, who also appeared on Neon Lights.