Rob Garcia 4: The Drop and the Ocean

Emerging drummer-composer-bandleader Rob Garcia takes another step toward the deeper end of the pool on this compelling collection. Titled after a Sufi concept of the individual and the path to surrendering to something bigger, it contains powerful musical moments from saxophonist Noah Preminger, pianist Dan Tepfer and bassist John Hébert, all of whom exhibit remarkable chemistry on metrically challenging numbers like “Will,” “Boundaries,” “String and Poise” and “Crash.” These musical labyrinths inevitably open up to freeblowing that brings the players’ intuitive skills to the fore, and three drum improvisations serve as startling interludes. Further compositional depth is revealed on the sublime brushes ballad “Humility” and the mournful rubato number “Lost by Morning.” Thoughtful original music delivered with rare conviction.