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2: Garment of Destiny. A pretty great title, the tune is a slow burner that begins quietly before the bass and oud take over for some Middle Eastern moods about 90 seconds in that then moves into a skittering improv workout that must be a monster live. This is really reminiscent of a lot of ECM label jazz, kind of bridging classical and chamber jazz.
3: Ignis Fatuus. The most straight-ahead song on the entire album swings on Leckie’s walking bass line and Toren makes clear that she could hold her own in any mainstream jazz environment if she chose to. This is the kind of toe-tapping track that radio programmers will jump on to use as an introduction to her work and with good reason. Great sax solo at the three minute mark that just burns up the rest of the tune. Some pretty heavy blowing going on here.
4: Rising Phoenix. The closer is all about conjuring images and it’s possible to see the mythic bird being conjured out of the somewhat random sounds the band lays down at the opening of this 10 minute-plus piece. It sort of gets stuck on that note for half of the time, before the song slides into an almost bluesy feel which Del Castillo drapes in some sweet big blasts of sax.
5:Canadian Music Centre. An associate composer at the Canadian Music Centre, Toren has had a few commissions for other groups ranging from string quartets to Vancouver’s Orkestra Futura. Given how satisfying the longer pieces on the new album are, it doesn’t seem unrealistic to look forward to her producing a long work that really gives itself over to moods and movements for a larger ensemble. The idea of a track such as Rising Phoenix extended to include more percussionists and some strings is pretty enticing.