The Mark of Excellence

Lina Allemano Four

Live at the Tranzac

By Daniel SylvesterThe first seven notes of "Flummox," the leadoff track from Lina Allemano Four's Live at the Tranzac, immediately conjure up comparisons to Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come. Playing her trumpet with that same thrown-off gangster cool that made Coleman such a decisive figure, the Toronto, ON trumpeter gives listeners a full-length tribute to the classic era of free jazz on her third LP. Where contemporaries like Ken Vandermark or Matthew Shipp navigate their groups through canals of primitive noise, Allemano prefers to hover above the rocky terrain, using short bursts of melodies and sustained pitch to return the fêted genre back to its basic roots. Using un-accentuated tones as compositional accents, Allemano and alto sax player Brodie West find themselves constantly climbing and descending, allowing double-bassist Andrew Downing and drummer Nick Fraser to create some distinctive rhythms. Live at the Tranzac is a blissful throwback album from a forever futuristic genre.
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