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Laura Kahle: Circular

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Composer-trumpeter Laura Kahle takes a bold first step on this compelling debut. She busts out of the gate blowing with authority on the sparse trio opener, “Chance Encounter,” alongside bassist Orlando le Fleming and her husband, drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, who erupts with typical polyrhythmic aplomb at the tag. Tain gets a workout on the churning 12/8 tour-de-force “Sweets,” which has Kahle overdubbing several tracks of trumpet, and the waltz-time “20/20 Vision” features strong contributions from guests Yosvanny Terry on alto sax and JD Allen on tenor. (More guests-vocalist Claudia Acuña and vibraphonist Monte Croft-crop up on the alluring ballad “Blackberry Garden.”) “Daize,” underscored by Watts’ supple brushwork, is a lush ensemble showcase for the horns, and “Duality” is an intricate, metrically shifting trio workout. The riotous and dissonant closer, “Touch & Go,” finds the band, horns included, swinging in freebop fashion.

Originally Published