Featuring mega-talented pianist Alex Maguire, this supremely talented European quintet generates some high-heat throughout this rather extroverted progressive-jazz date. Awash with some snap, crackle and pop, the frontline of trumpeter Johannes Krieger and tenor saxophonist Alipio C Neto often indulge in concise lines, sparked with a horde of simmering dynamics. It’s a democratic engagement indeed, where the musicians delve into playful escapades and off-kilter diversions, as they occasionally veer off into the free-jazz spectrum.
On the piece titled "John’s Fragment," Maguire lays down a budding ostinato passage, used as a forum for the quintet’s bumpy, shuffle groove and regal horns choruses. Needless to state, this unit packs a massive punch. And it won’t take your ears that long to figure it out. The plot thickens during the semi-structured work "Electrico 28," featuring the soloists’ inverted unison phrasings and an assortment of stop/start segments.
The ensemble goes for the gusto amid a myriad of combustible patterns, augmented with linear motifs and an aggregation of darting, crash and burn type movements. Yet they tone it down some during "Ure’s Epitaph - DER HIRT in Memoriam Urs Zuber," where the musicians render a subtle eulogy, highlighted by Krieger and Neto’s warmly stated lines. Ultimately, this is a thoroughly happening jaunt that should easily stimulate a few brain cells, to coincide with the band’s largely, penetrating manner of getting its point across.