AMN Reviews: Lineage of the Solar Dynasty – Transit of Venus (2013)

Transit of Venus album coverThis San Francisco-based free-jazz outfit features Micah O’Malley on sax, Mark Brumwell on clarinet, Joseph Burke on bass, and Bob Hubbard on drums.  A transit of venus occurs when that planet passes between the Sun and the Earth, visually appearing as a small disk against the Sun.   The last such transit was June 5-6, 2012, when this effort was recorded.

Regardless, Lineage of the Solar Dynasty appears to have one speed – flat out. Their breakneck tempo and dual-reed approach are reminiscent of later-period Coltrane, as well as early 60’s Ornette. But throw in a bit of Brotzmann to obtain a European flavor, as well as John Zorn‘s over-the-top sax style, and you’ll be closer to the mark.  The drumming and bass work are also full speed ahead.  As a consequence, this quartet takes on the thick, full sound that you might expect from a larger outfit, such as a double-trio or an octet.

Perhaps the main thing lacking in this release is a bit of variety; yet, the formula herein works.  Let’s hope that this group doesn’t wait for another rare astronomical phenomenon before heading back to the studio.