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Plunge: Dancing on Thin Ice

When trombonist Mark McGrain, sax player Tim Green and bassist James Singleton assembled to create the group Plunge, they must have had a specific musical purpose in mind to develop their sound. In Dancing on Thin Ice, the blending of even-tempo instrumental tonality illustrates this purpose, the quirkiness of human voice modulation and electronics, notwithstanding.

The trombone and saxophones stress tonal ‘value’ with their synchronous harmonies. The brass and reed contrapuntal discussions convey brightness without reaching extremes. The horns stay in mid-register. The music is pre-disposed towards multiple choruses and thematic repetitions, although single melody lines evolve, as exemplified in “Opium” or “Skickin’ Away.” The playfulness of “One Man’s Machine,” where the trombone combines with voice modulation and electronics, establishes a defining moment for the record.

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