Monday, January 16, 2012

Paul Hartsaw Quintet, "Circuitses," Post-Freebop at its Finest

Chicago tenor-soprano-composer-conceptualist Paul Hartsaw has done many good CDs in the past few years, and I've covered them in my various blogs. The new one from his Quintet, Circuitses (Metastablesound 015), certainly ranks among his very best.

It's a nicely put-together group of Hartsaw, Ryan Schultz, bass trumpet, Jim Baker, piano, Cory Biggerstaff, contrabass, and Damon Short, drums. These may not be names you know off the top of your head, but they are in fine form here. It's loose driving swing from the rhythm section and three good front-liners, who with Biggerstaff bring out the nuances of Hartsaw's worthy compositional elements and go on to get chromatic hipness going in the lines. Paul sounds especially good. Ryan and Jim get their time too and use it well.

It's post-Freebop in that it goes beyond outbop to a world where there can be twisting lines of eighth or sixteenth note runs both in the heads and solos, but they are well beyond the bop idiom and on into advanced tonal implications, stretching the key centers nicely without losing sight of them.

Good band, excellent music. This may be a sleeper but it will wake you up. Paul Hartsaw is going places and you'll want to be onboard for the trip.

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