Another great release from OA2 records - trumpeter Liam Sillery's fourth for the label is called Phenomenology
- a modern philosophical study of human consciousness - which is an apt title for this recording - which seeks to stretch the boundaries of musical experience. The title track opens with Sillery and saxophonist Matt Blostein playing parallel lines in an almost 1960s style, but things go onto free form in the middle section with Sillery and pianist Jesse Stacken taking interesting solo turns that defy expectations nicely. All NYC artists - notice should be given as well to double bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza - who comprise the excellent and muscular rhythm section. "Lifecycle" starts off in avant garde manner - with staggered lines from the horn section, but mutates into a '70s period Miles feel with block chords by Stacken and disparate solos by the pianist and Sillery and Blostein. This is edgy music that will keep the listeners on their toes, but it is not disjointed - there is a real sense of purpose and strong interplay between the band members. Meanwhile, "Holding Pattern" continues the trend of walking down the line between straight-ahead and free, with some radical unison lines and harmonies in the horn chart. Great solos and highly energetic drumming on this tune. Finally slowing things - Sillery switches over to flugelhorn on the unconventional ballad "Koi," but things return to the aggressive and vibrant on "Intentionality" Recommended for those who like their edginess in less than full-blown honking and squealing mode.