Dave Lisik Orchestra featuring Tim Hagans Coming Through Slaughter

Inspired by Michael Ondaatje's novel of the same name, Coming Through Slaughter is a ten-movement, radical re-imagining of legendary New Orleans cornetist Buddy Bolden's sound and music. Forget any trad jazz simulacra, this is wholly modern big band music populated with serious ringers like trumpeter Tim Hagans, tenor saxist Donny McCaslin and drummer Matt Wilson, who play their brains out on the eponymous opener. This recording should open a lot of people's ears to Lisik's impeccably crafted compositions and arrangements. Evocative orchestral settings like "The Drawings of Audubon" and "Cricket Noises and Cricket Music" inspire Hagans, McCaslin and pianist Amy Rempel ― a CD standout ― to speak more with expressiveness than technical ability, always a good thing when musicians with their virtuosity are involved. Trombonist Luis Bonilla and percussionist Joe Galvin make strong statements on "Auditorium of Enemies," another intriguing composition by Lasik. On Coming Through Slaughter, flawless musicianship finds itself fully engaged with challenging material. (Galloping)