Chris Welcome Quartet

This is wonderfully spacey music. Filled with eerie moans, hushed thumping and soft whispering, guitarist Chris Welcome’s compositions get reverential readings by his co-conspirators: Shayna Dulberger on bass, John McLellan on drums and Jonathan Moritz on tenor and soprano sax. The pieces have no titles to give the listener something to hold onto; instead the numbered tracks convey the ineffability of time, pitch and space with a sparseness that’s made all the more compelling by the musicians’ mature self-restraint. Quartet isn’t a free improv blow fest however, it is a thoughtful, evocative and deeply intelligent musical conversation made by people who clearly are interested in what each other have to say. As much as the sounds convey a noir-ish vibe, the most outstanding thing about Welcome’s music is how hard the musicians listen to one another. This recording is well worth tracking down. (Tigerasylum)