Seductive is the first word that comes to mind about the debut recording from the quartet, Shot X Shot. The resonance produced as a result of the church recording space unfetters the sound from any potential restraints and expands the recording’s intense allure.
In the alternating phrases from low to high, from multi-layered to singular and scattered to synchronous, from a fast constant pace to a slow one, lies great beauty. The pressed exaggeration of opposites creates breadth and sonic energy that dashes away any chance of inattention. Whatever is languidly played contributes to the evocation of smoke-filled haunts along dark mysterious avenues. The mysterious progressively hints at the sultry and perhaps slippery images of human interaction and behavior.
Bright is the sound of the alto. It leads the instrumental drive; it beckons the listener to come into the embrace of the music. Thorough is the underpinning and often parallel service of the tenor. The string bass becomes its own strong character in the quartet; it grounds the peaking of the horn experience and on its own addresses a quiet naiveté. The drums are by all means enticing and draw an unexpected plane in the music. The very first strokes of the drums on the recording magnetize the ears.
The ostinatos and the choruses emanating from the horns are the currency for floating away with the rhythms. The horns may travel melodically across the repetitions or create them. In any event, the repetitions build a safe haven for listening. They behave as would a gentle, yet muscular, caressing of the spirit. The bass drum thumps pull the listener into remembering being earthbound. The tenor emphasizes the same. The wide dispositions of cymbal hissing attract and stroke and invite. The stick to skins and to cymbals often speak crisp, stunning arrays of a backdrop whose omnipresence offers a bed from which the music can grow. A sense of the ceremonial also sneaks in through a combining of melodies as they pour out of the horns and interweave with delicate percussive sounds from the drums.
The experience of this music is satisfying and complete. The music is improvised and composed by the band members. The message conveyed by the music is sensual and lithe and glides on silken wavelengths. The message begs to be heard many times.