AMN Reviews: Dan Phillips Quartet – Converging Tributaries (2017; Lizard Breath Records)

Former Chicagoan Dan Phillips returns with his second release of 2017, this time teaming up with Jeb Bishop on trombone, Krzysztof Pabian on bass, and Tim Daisy playing drums. Phillips rounds out the group on electric guitar. Despite having three members and a general direction in common with Phillips’s Chicago Edge Ensemble, this lineup fleshes out its own sound.

Not unlike that prior album, Converging Tributaries is an amalgam of structure and spontaneity. Consisting of four tracks varying from 9 to 26 minutes, two are more composed than not while the others are primarily improvised. On Conspicuous Con, one of the composed pieces, Pabian and Daisy lay down the basic rhythms over which Phillips and Bishop take leads. Often, when one of these latter two are soloing, the other provides accentuations and motifs for color.

On the other hand, the openness of Swirling Headwaters suits its title. For most of its nearly 20 minutes, there is no particular lead instrument, though toward its end the group undertakes a more traditional jam for a few minutes. Regarding the free sections, Phillips and company play with confidence. None are in a hurry to achieve any notable goal other than to add their own contributions to those of the rest of the group. Thus, the track moves seamlessly between order and chaos, with varying tone and dynamics. To these ears, the more disorganized sections are the high point of the album.

2017 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part VI

It’s that time again. We gather best-of-2017 lists from around the web and provide links here.

Sure, we haven’t reached the end of the year yet, but some intrepid individuals just cannot be held back. The AMN Best of 2017 is coming in early January. Stay tuned…

A Closer Listen’s top ten modern composition and top ten field recording and soundscape.

Troy Dostert’s best jazz of 2017.

Nate Chinen’s top ten jazz performances of 2017.

Francis Davis’s best jazz of 2017.

Previous lists:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V

Trost Records New Releases

Source: TROST Records.

MADE TO BREAK – Trebuchet
NOVAKS KAPELLE – Fartwind – Complete Discography
BECOMING ANIMAL – A distant hand lifted
BONESHAKER – Thinking out loud
RASMUSSEN / DORJI / DAMON – To the animal kingdom