Slowly burning telepathy from transatlantic foursome caught in the act of tuneful communication.
Two guitars and two trumpets don’t seem to be an ordinary instrumental array for a touring collective in which three Europeans meet an American and engage in ensemble projecting unpredictable interplay – but then, there’s never been anything ordinary about master of strings, David Kollar’s art that, at various times, involved wind input from either Erik Truffaz and Paolo Raineri, and though Rick Cox’s licks seem to be more traditional, his sampling wizardry promised to enhance overall capriciousness of the Old World’s colleagues’ on-stage performances. And it did, adding a few different dimensions to the trio’s well-oiled mind process when the four of them took to the road in the Fall of 2022 for a series of fully improvised concerts none of which was the same as any other, this recording cherry-picking the tour’s finest moments and focusing on particular details yet never losing sight of the whole framework that the musicians installed for the listener’s comfort.
There are plenty details to discover and relish, and such sprawling, and eventful, cuts as “David Bass” or “Rick Beat” highlight some primary – and often primal – elements of the entire picture, but it’s pieces like the riveting, and impressively sophisticated, mini-epic “Fearless” that tie separate parts in exquisite knots to offer the gist of what’s going on on the sonic screen and clear the abstract smoke of soundscapes the collective create on the fly… if they cared to fly, rather than cinematically crawl, towards the great unknown. Starting from the sinister “Martin Intro” where Cox’s synthetic background is punctured by Kollar’s notes and stricken and stroked by Raineri and Truffaz’s blistering brass, the band explore bottom-end in the robust jive of “PF Groove” to immerse their ever-changing engine in fusion waters and charge the flow with increasingly fierce electric whirls, while “Evans” finds the Slovakian master’s piano channeling the titular Bill’s elegance through Erik and Paolo’s sun-dappled lines.
However, “Cuba Libre” takes it all to a completely new level by unhurriedly heating up the atmosphere and building out rumba-tinctured dynamics which threaten to shatter the very foundations of the previously displayed textures. That’s what living and creating in the moment is: a glorious intent pushed to the limits of imagination and then some.