AJ Kluth Quintet

Twice Now

oa2 22055

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

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Hailing from the Chicago scene, saxophone player Aj Kluth and his band here take a turn through rounds of both composition and improvisation. The bulk of the pieces here (with the exception of a Chick Corea piece and a Thom Yorke number that's been converted to jazz) come from Kluth and/or his guitarist Nick Ascher. With a basic structure coming from the composed sets, the band then proceeds regularly to improvise heavily over the themes. The interesting note of the album is how thoroughly some of the improvisations go. Coliseum starts out as a basic nightclub riff but ends up in Weather Report territory. Yorke's "Atoms for Peace" starts out in a spacy form, but gets pulled further, into a Sun Ra mode. All the while, the band moves carefully around the numbers. Seán McCluskey's keys anchor many a composition, while Ascher's guitar alternately sits quietly as part of the rhythm section or wails like a John McLaughlin piece. There's a lot of groove here, a lot of fusion, a lot of surprising angles. Throughout though, there's an extremely solid core of fundamental musical skills on the part of the full quintet. They individually contribute worthwhile pieces, but when they work together it becomes more extraordinary.






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