Given the respective discographies of these superb musicians and visionaries, we’ve learned to assume the unexpected. This European-American quartet finds alto saxophonist Max Nagl and trumpeter Steven Bernstein cavorting thru Dixieland, free jazz, and swing amid a distinct cross-genre approach that should irrefutably keep the listener on the edge of his or her seat. Then toss in some abrupt shifts in strategy -- complete with off-meter time changes and torrid soloing breakouts -- the musicians aim to incorporate an airy, group-centric mode of attack. And it’s bassist Bradley Jones’ fluent walking bass lines and sturdy rhythmic leadership that provided the glue that holds this wily band in tow.
Surprises are in abundance here as guitarist Noel Akchote comps, dissects and even renders ’60s style surf-guitar limes on the piece titled "Ring A Rings." Moreover, Bernstein elicits notions of Satchmo during the quasi, trad/modern jazz opener titled "Radiergummi." Then who on earth would suspect that a comp named after the legendary clarinetist and bandleader "Artie Shaw," would be founded upon chamber-jazz? Highlights and wondrously crafter diversions are all over the place on this buoyantly executed live set recorded at a Swiss jazz festival. As they finalize the date with a calamitous romp titled "Muggles 2000." It’s invigorating, thought-provoking, and the type of stuff that keeps modern jazz steeped within a refreshing and forward-moving state of affairs. (Exuberantly recommended.... )