This is a solid if ever so slightly disappointing album by a quartet of top-of-the-line New York-based free jazzers: Mark Whitecage, saxes and clarinet; Roy Campbell, Jr., trumpet and flugelhorn; Joe Fonda, bass; and Lou Grassi, drums. While graced with the sort of exalted creativity and professionalism one would expect, the project is compromised by a less-than-optimal recording quality as well as a lack of direction that often typifies the music of cooperative jazz bands. The album was recorded live, probably using a stereo mike connected to a DAT machine or some other portable device. The mike picks up too much of the room, resulting in a distant, overly reverberant sound. Grassi is particularly ill-served. No free jazz drummer makes more creative use of his kit’s low end. The boomy recorded sound obscures the crispness of his tom-tom work, robbing his playing of its characteristic clarity.
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