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Gordon Grdina Quartet: Inroads (Songlines)

Review of album from guitar and oud player

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Cover of Gordon Grdina Quartet: album Inroads
Cover of Gordon Grdina Quartet album Inroads

Don’t let the opening track fool you. Russ Lossing’s spacious solo-piano meditation, incongruously titled “Giggles,” does not prepare you for what’s to follow. That would be “Not Sure,” initially Mahavishnu-esque in its velocity and intensity, soon enough visiting Ornette-land, next venturing into deep space, then solemn neoclassicism and finally all-out crashing, brooding, thudding metal bombast.

You’re only two tracks in at this point, and Inroads doesn’t get any less adventuresome or more predictable as it unfolds. There’s frisky interplay, free chaos, curious wandering, screechy assault, giddy jabbing and, to wrap it, “Giggles II,” which, like its earlier counterpart, is sweeping and airy but not the least bit funny.

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