JEFF PLATZ QUARTET With DANIEL CARTER - Panoramic (Skycap 63; Germany)
Jeff Platz on guitar, Daniel Carter on saxes, clarinet, flute & trumpet, Kit Demos on bass and John McLellan on drums.
This is a Boston-based quartet with the ever-ready Daniel Carter sitting in. I wasn't very familiar with guitarist Jeff Platz before this disc, although he does have two previous discs out on Konnex and Skycap ('Skull Session' w/ Joe Morris). I also know drummer John McLellan from his work with Joe McPhee, Keith Yuan & E.R.A. The title piece is first and it has a moody, laid back sort of vibe. Jeff plays each note carefully, slowly letting the smoke rise in the air and then fade away. Platz has an older jazz guitar tone while the quartet play freely without going too far out. Some of these piece sound like standards but they are pushed out a bit further. The overall vibe is one of a dreamy haze, drifting between various dreams. What's interesting about this disc is that there are some strategies or structures that not so apparent yet you only notice then when you are not looking. This music takes a bit of work to pin down and figure out yet you do hear those clever connections on occasion. This is one of the more challenging discs I've heard without ever becoming too dense. Patience and close attention make this a most worthy contender.