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CD Review: INNERrOUTe's "Fourmation" 

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INNERrOUTe Fourmation

(2015, Planet Arts)

With case play on top of multiple puns, the quartet INNERrOUTe doesn't make it easy to type its name or to interpret it, but one could say that, given the group's native genre—improvisational jazz—difficulty is part of the bargain on every level. On Fourmation, this quartet of trumpet, electric piano, drums, and bass sets out to capture one evening of improvisations, and the results are scintillating, due as much to the excellent recording quality as to the heightened, empathic playing of this very capable and egoless ensemble.

The reverberant mix rounds the top end of Rick Savage's often effected trumpet and flugelhorn tone in the most pleasant way and situates the rhythm section of Michael D'Agostino (drums) and Bill McCrossen (bass) in a warm and natural space. The complex, phasey timbre of Joe Vincent Tranchina's electric piano swirls through the space between voices like a sonic glue. Like so much free jazz, this stuff originates with Miles circa Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way; free and untimed conversations morph into near funk and back again on the opening track "Consensual Motion." But on the lovely "Sacred Eclipse" and on many other tracks, INNERrOUTe reveals itself to be a band more interested in moments of warm euphony than in contentious squawk. The music-as-spiritual-practice liner notes are borne out in the quite accessible and enjoyable sounds. Planetarts.org.

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