The Mark of Excellence

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble

Sneaky Pete ― Slugs'

By Bryon HayesToronto, ON guitarist/composer/improviser Ken Aldcroft and his handpicked ensemble continue to outdo themselves with every recording. This double-CD set of multifarious free jazz is the group's fourth outing and their strongest effort to date. The first disc finds various combinations of solo/duo/trio/group settings working out a handful of pieces in a variety of permutations before signing off with the ultra-groovy "Sneaky Pete." This track is top form Convergence Ensemble, with a snarling but sweet guitar/horn breakdown near the midway point. Most of disc two focuses on "Slugs'," a six-part suite dedicated to Sun Ra and named after the NYC club that he and his Arkestra performed at every Monday night for years. It's a highly capricious affair that echoes Thelonious Monk's assertion about Ra's '60s output: it's far out, but it swings! Sneaky Pete — Slugs' is an ambitious set of finely executed free jazz; it's the next logical step in the continued refinement of this crew's fresh and intoxicating sound.
(Trio)
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