Perhaps it was all those Saturday morning serials I religiously watched as a kid but I've always been a sucker for series. Back in those more innocent days, three of my favorite words were "to be continued." Maybe this carried over into my music collection as the acquisition of Shelly Manne & His Men at the Blackhawk of Lester Young in Washington D.C. up to the recent thirty volume Steeplechase Jam Sessions attest. Trumpeter Liam Sillery's latest is the final unnumbered volume in a trilogy that includes a former Origin release 'Outskirts' and 'Phenomenology'. Both had the same cast as this current one. Since this reviewer hasn't either of the former pair, I cannot comment on the thematic continuity but it would be any easy guess that these stand alone as solidly as the stand together--where the earliest title finds the band stepping across the tracks of straight-up to freer territory from time to time, while his last outing moved even further beyond without the often cliched licks of the mainstem norm or obligatory excesses of the so-called "more-exploratory" idiom.
After all this playing time together, the timbre of the horns is such that sometimes, when in high register unison, they sound like two altos or a pair of trumpets. Their daring counterpoint canbe traced back from Ornette/Don Cherry to at least Bird and Diz. At times this quintet made me think of what Jason Palmer's unit seems to be striving toward except that they use a guitar for a chordal base. Lots of nice touches abound throughout from the off-center boogaloo "Remoulade" to the ending waltz "Tristan's Way," all propelled by an experienced rhythm section (pianist Stacked has been aboard all but one of Sillery's recordings) that complements the whole. Since I covered his organ-based 'On the Fly', this trumpeter has made giant strides toward his ultimate goals. Recommended.