|review by Frank Rubolino
There is a soulful, near mournful tonality arising from the quartet of Paul Flaherty, Greg Kelley, John Voigt, and Laurence Cook. The four musicians are involved in the art of instant composing, and the entire lengthy performance is a spontaneous joint creation. Flaherty, playing alto and tenor saxophone, streams out waves of viscous lava that stamp the session with its broodiness, and Kelley exhibits contained explosiveness in making his trumpet sing with an equal amount of pensive sadness. The two represent a potent reed/brass force for this collective, which enjoys the benefit of unified bass and drum interaction from Voigt and Cook.
Flaherty is truly a free thinker. He takes his reeds to extreme aural levels but always projects that sorrowful edge in his playing. His journeys often lead to deep caverns where his reeds couple with the darkness in stark coexistence. Kelley uses various mouthing techniques to coax a splattering of current from his trumpet. He injects a flutter or a short stab and then launches the horn on longer projectiles. He listens acutely to Flaherty and designs a complementary sound web.
Voigt is particularly strong in his role of unitizing with the two horn players. He carves out intricate bass lines that become one with the trumpet and tenor/alto while engulfing the music with his rich and booming sound. Cook plays drums with keen sensitivity. He dabbles in soft, shifting currents of rhythm and only erupts with brute force on those occasions when the collective is following the tale of a tornado. Generally, he is a more subtle strength with his accents and shading. Cook switches continually from a cymbal attack to the drum skins and back again, providing a stimulating counterpart to this volatile music.
The four artists have ample time to develop the selections, and the comprehensive dissertations are all resolved to meaningful conclusions. Each of these musicians is fully in tune with the vibrations of the others, and the resulting music has cohesiveness even though the sonic territory it is covering is far-reaching and widely diverse.