By Philip Freeman | Published June 2018
This is Spin Cycle’s second album, which follows a self-titled 2016 debut. And the band has spent time on the road in between, learning the nuances of each other’s compositional and improvisational languages, becoming a tight, disciplined unit.
While saxophonist Tom Christensen and guitarist Pete McCann might be the natural focus of the recording, bassist Phil Palombi and drummer Scott Neumann stake out space for themselves, from the traded fours of the opening “Break Tune” to Palombi’s deep, emotionally resonant solos on “Possum Dark” and “Third Floor.” When Palombi switches to electric, as on the funk-rock “Etosha,” the bassist and drummer set up a bouncing groove, atop which Christensen’s squawking soprano saxophone and McCann’s stinging electric guitar go wild.
Things rev up on the album’s final track. The aptly named “Fit Bit” sounds as if all involved are working up a sweat, sprinting through the melody and then slowing down, a trick they pull several times to keep each other on their toes. Christensen’s soloing here is fast and furious, in a mode recalling Joe Henderson’s Milestone albums of the 1970s.
Assorted Colors: Break Tune; Two Pan Man; Possum Dark; It’s Alright With Me; Third Floor; Etosha; Roots; Affirmation; To The Puente; Mist; Fit Bit. (59:26)
Personnel: Tom Christensen, tenor and soprano saxophone; Pete McCann, electric and nylon-string guitar; Phil Palombi, acoustic and electric bass; Scott Neumann, drums.