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Barry Elmes Quintet: Redshift

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Toronto-based drummer-composer Barry Elmes has, for the past 20 years, flown under the radar with his quintet featuring tenor saxophonist Mike Murley, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, guitarist Reg Schwager and bassist Steve Wallace. It’s time for more recognition: Redshift, the group’s fifth release, is chock-full of first-rate solos and compositional surprises, like the quirky blues “Reading Week”; the constantly shifting “Stumpy,” teeming with rhythmic displacement; the chamber-like intro to “Brief Sanctuary”; or the boisterously swinging title track. Drum heads will want to study Elmes’ masterful use of brushes on “The Reincarnation of Ratboy” and the uptempo swinger “The Brush-Off,” and an impressive group empathy marks covers of Wayne Shorter’s “This Is for Albert” and the traditional hymn “Abide With Me.”

Originally Published