Matt Penman, bass; Chris Cheek, tenor and soprano saxophone; Kurt Rosenwinkel, guitar; Aaron Goldberg, piano and Fender Rhodes; Jeff Ballard, drums.
This CD moves along, competently played by young men who enjoy their Jazz. New Zealander Matt Penman wrote all the tunes and mentions The Bulgarian Womens Choir as one of his influences - though this might be hard to detect for anyone who is not a keen follower of this august ensemble. We can say that the music flows well enough at an unhurried pace without too much light and shade; the sax and guitar usually doubling the head. There is plenty of good improvisation from them all with perhaps too much reliance on the saxophone. Chris Cheek plays in a straight, unruffled manner which places no demands upon you - he warms up a bit in "Wanton Ways" and the piano cuts loose in "The Unquiet". I would have liked to have heard more piano and guitar. Only "Desert Storm" gives a hint of menace. As this is Penman's first CD as a leader, one would expect him to build from this beginning.
by Ferdinand Maylin
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