Pacific Northwest-based pianist and composer Clay Giberson grew up on a farm in Woodland, Washington. So, perhaps it's unsurprising that the University of Miami-trained musician would find inspiration in the fields of home. Like jazz composers Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Ornette Coleman, Giberson digs into the loamy soil of Americana for the raw materials on Pastures
, his sixth recording as a leader for the Origin label. (His Upper Left Trio has also recorded for the imprint). And he could hardly have asked for better company. His quartet comprises saxophonist Donny McCaslin, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Matt Wilson, who are joined by a string quartet on three tracks. Included here, the warm and welcoming opening track, "The Time for Now," displays the groups synergy from the start. Giberson's lyrical playing sparkles — he also lays down an impressionistic wash on keyboards — quietly at first, but building in intensity. McCaslin ratchets up the excitement with his bluesy solo, and the rhythm section percolates till it boils over.