Tom Wetmore: The Desired Effect

Focusing exclusively on a retro ’70s Fender Rhodes sound, pianist-composer Tom Wetmore’s leader debut is quintessentially chill. It’s surely a contemporary take on jazz, but don’t call it smooth-at least not when alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw is blowing torrid double-time solos on numbers like “Red Lights” and “Good and Plenty,” or when the leader is shuffling counterpoint lines like a casino card dealer on such intricate numbers as the bracing title track and “With Woven Wings.” A two-guitar frontline of Brad Williams and Justin Sabaj, alongside either Shaw or Eric Neveloff on sax, helps create Wetmore’s shimmering signature sound of interlocking motifs, as heard on “Falling,” “The Rub” and the moody closer, “More Matter.” This is a unique and strangely affecting first effort.