This Canadian ensemble, with a core of three players from Winnipeg, performs in a thoroughly mainstream manner, led firmly and faultlessly by trumpeter John Pittman, who is also responsible for six of the nicely rounded compositions and arranged the other brace.
Pittman has a tone of admirable clarity and a finely-honed technique. The agile baritone sax of Beddage provides a rugged foil with additional interest generated by pianist McLeod’s dancing lines and the mobility of Downes’s bass.
This band can hit a satisfying bluesy groove, as it does on “Moray Crossing”, while also throwing up aural surprises in, for instance, “Homio-stasis”.
“Where Is the Love?” offers the most experimental approach here, but after an exploratory foray, the musicians revert to a funkier climate, and there is some particularly good piano in the mix. Pittman deploys his balladic sensitivity on “Reminiscing”. Nowosad keeps the Latin pot boiling with his percussive beat on “As”. “Home” ends the set on a wistful, reflective note, a brief but telling conclusion to a thoroughly professional and well executed programme.
Ties That Bind; For Siobahn; Homio-stasis; Moray Crossing; Where Is the Love?; Reminiscing; As; Home (45.09)
Pittman (t); Shirantha Beddage (bar); Jeff McLeod (p); Mike Downes (b); Curtis Nowosad (d). Toronto, Canada, 22 & 23 August, 2017.
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