Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Chad Taylor - The Daily Biological (Cuneiform Records, 2020)

Accomplished drummer Chad Taylor meets up with Brian Settles on tenor saxophone and Neil Podgurski on piano for an album that creates exciting and accessible music that unfurls in a focused narrative including lively bursts of improvisation. "The Shepherd" opens the album with a medium-up tempo performance which has a lightly funky feeling. There is a light and airy section of flowing piano moving gracefully throughout the tune. Taylor's drum solo mixes light and shade by alternating rumbling low tones and crisp rhythms. Nimble piano and drums come to the forefront on "Prism," with a lightly played melody that runs through the performance. The saxophone enters late, forming a thematic mid-tempo improvisation. "Swamp" comes on faster with a more defined and heavier rhythm, as Settles' unaccompanied saxophone probes at length. Piano and drums then move forward, driving the music faster in a section that becomes more aggressively complex. A circular pattern develops on "Resistance," with Taylor's drumming gaining strength and the tenor saxophone breaking out before an abrupt fade. "Matape" has very interesting interplay between the musicians, gradually building into a whirling convection of sound. Robust sounding saxophone and drums provide excitement, with raw bellows of sound and slashing cymbals playing in a complex and accessible manner. The tumbling theme of "Birds, Leaves, Wind, Trees" cascades through tight coils of tenor saxophone and light percussion, in conversation with fast free sounding piano and floating drums. "Untethered" has a more urgent theme that leads the group into action with darker piano that adds color and texture, leaning into a lean trio line that works quite well. The brief "Recife" and lengthy closer "Between Sound and Silence" concludes with a dynamic drum solo, followed by the band joining in as dark tones of saxophone engage in a free and open round of collective improvisation. The music winds down to a spare and elusive piano and saxophone section, with long tones of sounds leading to the conclusion. The Daily Biological -

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