Despite the slasher movie title, Smoker and multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia’s Halloween, The Sequel is a relatively straight-faced affair, though no less adventurous than Live Insurgency. In this quartet, rounded out by Haynes and bassist Ken Filiano, Smoker’s timbral assets contrast vividly against Golia’s burly baritone and luminous flute. As Filiano’s association with Golia is almost as long-standing as Smoker’s with Phil Haynes, the quartet embodies several layers of discovery and familiarity within its interaction. The compositional materials range from propulsive unison-based ensembles to fluid polyphonic passages, and, in several instances, they are linked together in lengthy, episodic works. Despite the challenging nature of much of the program, there is still ample portions of hard-swinging jazz; after all, where there’s Smoker-and Golia, Filiano and Haynes, for that matter- there’s fire.
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