Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shot x Shot - Let Nature Square (High Two, 2008)

Philadelphia has always had an interesting jazz scene, boasting at one time or another the likes of John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Jimmy Smith and a host of other legends. While today's scene is a little more underground, there are still plenty of talented groups out there like the wonderful Mostly Other People Do the Killing featuring Monk Prize winner Jon Irabagon, and this fascinating group, Shot X Shot. Consisting of Dan Scofield on alto saxophone, Bryan Rogers on tenor saxophone, Matt Engle on bass and Dan Capecchi on drums, the group plays an open ended and energetic but still quite accessible brand of improvised music. The music rarely delves into squealing energy music, but often finds the saxophonists weaving around each other, creating a DNA-like double helix of interconnected musical chromosomes. The opening track, "Scans" begins with some bowed bass and tooting saxophones improvising together. Moving into a tenor led trio section, the music takes on a shapeshifting feel. Plucked bass supports the saxes that weave into a nice free-bopping feel. "Triple Double" was one of the highlights of the album for me, with elastic bass and drums providing a foundation for saxophones growing in potency. Saxophones riff in collective improv backed by strong bass and drums. "Overlay" has a spaceous sound, scattering quantum foam, bubbling around the music universe. Bowed bass and mild weaving saxophones improvise in a painterly fashion. "Oh No" and "Autobahnsai" wrap up the album with weaving saxophones and elastic bass. This was an interesting album that I liked, the musicians worked together very well on interesting compositions and improvisations that were enjoyable and exciting to listen to.

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