Rubicon Quartet - Crosscurrents [New Wave Of Jazz - 2020]Crosscurrents is an extremely apt title for this recent CD release from the Rubicon Quartet. As the album, often rapidly, shifts and swings between playful ‘n’ harmonic edged free jazz, and noised- up to angular improv. All making for a decidedly invigorating, yet often memorable record.
The Rubicon Quartet brings together several respected figures from the Belgian improv/ experimental jazz scene taking in Patrick De Groote- trumpet & flugelhorn, Cel Overberghe- alto sax, Dirk Serries- acoustic guitar, and Martina Verhoeven- piano. Seemingly Crosscurrents is the group's debut release, which appears on Belgium label New Wave Of Jazz.
In all the release takes in seven tracks, and slides in with a full runtime of fifty-six minutes. The album moves between the jarringly throaty horn calls, and bounding-to- funked guitar/ piano runs of “Verbatim”. Through to the lose-at-points suddenly darting structure of “Airs Out”- which mangers to nicely shift between smoothly melodic & jarringly taut. Onto the strutting ‘n’ picking guitar strum meets compressed & seared wails ‘n’ honks of “Rubicon”. The album wraps-up with the longest track here the near eleven and a half minutes of “Caught By A Flying Ghost”- which finds locked & bounding piano key patterns, alongside playful-to-rapidly waving horn play, and darting guitar strums.
I very much enjoy the blend of shifting angularity, playful-at-times harmonic interplays, and the general unpredictability of Crosscurrents. And I must say I’ve often found my self playing the album, and can most certainly say that it’s a record I'll be returning to in the future again.Roger Batty