(Clean Feed)

Whit Dickey’s “Sacred ground” is the assertion of his will to compose starting from the voice, something that Dickey usually doesn’t do, as he writes his music on the piano; and, of course, he stands among the finest jazz drummers around, his kaleidoscopic technique never departing from a careful analysis and decomposition of the groove (there you have it, as far as being a complete musician is concerned). This album is sweet, concise, full of genial quirks, gifted with a peevish joy which characterizes the overall discursiveness of the tracks, ranging from effectively dissonant quasi-song frameworks to old-fashioned free-for-all blarings where the musicians look for new ways to improve the listeners’ aural abilities by playing ever-comprehensible lines amidst enthusiast mayhem. Rob Brown on alto sax and Roy Campbell jr. on trumpet represent a fulgent example of athletic lyricism embued of visionary innuendo, their instruments exchanging disembodied phrases while also generating sudden scintillations in a continuous reciprocal feedback that does not detract from their unique voice as a soloists. Joe Morris’ work on double bass consolidates the cohesion and breaks potential barriers while remaining a focal point in the cognitive process of this quartet’s magnificent interplay. “Sacred ground” is yet another welcome addition in Clean Feed’s excellent discography and also one of the most easily digestible, its complex constitution notwithstanding – which makes it even more appreciable.

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