Refreshing is perhaps the best description to apply to this CD. The title is true, but there is definitely an "intersection" of influences that do not operate at cross-purp…
Refreshing is perhaps the best description to apply to this CD. The title is true, but there is definitely an "intersection" of influences that do not operate at cross-purpose. The blend of mood, technique and genre results in a rich smorgasbord for listeners to savor.
The CD opens with "Intersections," a journey through a musical maze with a calm force. Don't think confusion here, the direction is crystal clear. The next gem, "North March" highlights the strong emotion of Carl Clements' singing soprano sax. The melody is relatively simple with Ben Cook giving a stellar piano performance. It's a classic piece. The intriguing "Firefly" finds Bertram Lehman's drums and Cook's electric piano balancing energy with haunting tenderness. Clements "flies" in, as the sax glides over the track with intensity.
"Guinnevere" is a beautiful gentle track with Johnson's guitar as the main support with Cook right next to him on piano. Clements' tenor sax is subdued and very elegant. It's got the "quiet storm" signature on it. "Stop & Go" mixes straight-ahead with Brazilian-type hints and city-slick soulfulness. Johnson burns on guitar and Cook lives up to his name as well. Lehmann gives a solid performance on rhythm instruments.
"Crosscurrent" holds some of the same World-mix elements as "Stop & Go," but on a softer note. It's a thinking person's track for meditation and daydreaming. The smooth theme continues with "Mirromere," as Cook again leads the pack with pensive notes and Clements flute following on the same wavelength.
"Seven of Mine" builds an intense entry and simmers down for Joshua Davis to show his stuff on bass. Very hip indeed, and it rises again for Johnson to pick up the pace with some Latin-tinged guitar. Clements soulful sax gets the steam rolling and rounds out the track.
Davis' bass lines open "Ritual" and gets the listener hypnotized and ready to follow the commands that follow from Cook and Clements. This one is true to its title as it's relatively trance-like. "Now the Day is Gone" bids farewell to a jazzland that Peter Pan would love. It takes the listener home with a grateful, but somewhat melancholy sweetness. It is filled with hope and assurance for a new day.
Crosscurrent has the kind of appeal that a photo essay provides. Its picturesque melodies give us a musical documentation through all the beauty that this ensemble could gather. They, in turn, deliver it to us with all they have. It is simple, or perhaps complex, but oh so regal.