Modern jazz cellist Erik Friedlander has carved out a niche within New York City’s "downtown scene," and other artistic arenas due to his extensive involvement with like-minded musicians. As his solo career continues onward with perhaps his finest release to date. Here, Friedlander leads his long time musical associates through a series of soaring works featuring percussionist Satoshi Takeishi’s inventive and somewhat clamorous rhythmic maneuvers. Takeishi’s brother, Stomu handles the electric bass duties while the criminally under-recognized saxophonist/composer Andy Laster acts as a near perfect foil for the leader of this date.
The band pursues vertical movements via a chameleon-like approach as tonalities blend, and transform into enticing harmonies and dissonant voicings. Laster and Friedlander trade inspiring choruses throughout: almost as though they pass the baton back and forth amid a sequence of volleys and coalescing statements. The quartet ventures into chamber-jazz motifs on occasion. However the cellist’s rippling staccato lines and rhythmic plucking works nicely atop the band’s loose groove style methodologies. Essentially, a radiant sheen permeates this superfine effort. An added treat resides within Stomu Takeishi’s cleverly articulated use of volume control during his probing solo on the track titled, "Glass Bell." And while a good portion of the soloists’ improvisations adhere to a freeform mode of attack; Friedlander’s music largely defies categorization! (Zealously recommended.... )