(Clean Feed)

“Turtle crossing” is the testimony of the one and only occasion when Paul Flaherty, Joe McPhee, Steve Swell, John Voigt and Lawrence Cook met and spontaneously played together, five years ago. A quintet armed with two saxophones, trombone, double bass and drums, Jumala spins its wheels right from the start, moving away from jurisdictional phraseologies and adding a few ounces of haywire poorhouse energy as a product of intense interactions during some challenging propositions. Swell’s trombone in “Weighing of the heart” is something to be clinching to in the context of what’s maybe the best track in the disc; the smart arco elucubrations by Voigt often help avoiding the fall into the feared (at least by me) “swingy/jazzy” vibe. The real best comes when the group travels near to well behaved – if never rehearsed – organic counterpoints, thus liberating the music from any aura of “domestic freedom” that could have ruined even the best intentions. Ever the perfect players, Flaherty and McPhee exchange educated opinions, bitter darts and incendiary omens, finding reciprocal comprehension in Cook’s rhythmic discrepancies even during the most abundant blowing tides.

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