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Active Vapor Recovery by Scot Ray Quintet

Trombonist Scot Ray leads a West Coast consortium of like-minded musicians on this superb 2003 release. And while the trombonist possesses monstrous chops, this jazz/fusion style effort presents somewhat of a multifaceted outlook. Here, the oft-maligned jazz tinted genre gets a welcome makeover. From the onset of the peppery opener titled "Three Quarks," it should become immediately apparent that something very special is about to happen. On this piece, Ray, guitarist Nels Cline and violinist Jeff Gauthier engage in a swirling ostinato motif via a high-impact delivery. As Ray generates a tuneful groove atop bassist Steuart Liebig and drummer Alex Cline’s rock solid rhythmic maneuvers. However, the band minces a loose groove vibe amid free-form excursions coupled with tricky time signatures and a tightly coordinated approach.

Blistering unison lines, vivacious soloing escapades, and memorable melodies augment the ensemble’s spunky demeanor. It’s partly about the musicians’ glowing synergy and their effective execution of dynamics that permeates this outing. This production also benefits from a glistening audio engineering process. No doubt, Ray’s brainchild looms as one of the top albums of the year, or any year for that matter. (Strongly recommended.... )

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Scot Ray Quintet
  • CD Title: Active Vapor Recovery
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Cryptogramophone
  • Tracks: Three Quarks, Above Breath, Shiny Object, In Cleveland, Man as Kite, Scarabaeus, Trouble with Sugar, Active Vapor Recovery, Bitteroot
  • Musicians: Scot Ray (trombone), Jeff Gauthier (electric violin), Nels Cline (electric guitars), Steuart Liebig (contrabass guitars), Alex Cline (drums, percussion)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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