One of the world’s great vibists Joe Locke’s music nonetheless can be oblique and not always immediately instantly digestible. However, this is not the case here on an absorbing listen full of twists and turns.
There is a brightness in the voicings, a driving fury to the grown-up improvising but above all a great deal of clarity in the layering, structuring, melody and improvisational journey.
David Binney’s guest spot on ‘Red Cloud’ gets the energy level right up and he is one of four guests, the starriest of these being soulful everyman Raul Midón.
Locke himself nestled within a core quartet allows him to operate as both a member of the rhythm section and break out soloist and in the latter role he is a master of colour.
In a nutshell this is accessible yet aware of the apparent contradiction still very complex jazz that tests the band in terms of mood shift and pacing. Soak it up. SG