Jazzstory Jazzstory

Toronto guitarist Tim Posgate is marking the ten-year existence of his Guildwood Records with the release of the debut disc from his group Jazzstory. The disc was recorded at Toronto's Top Of The Senator, but could be mistaken for a studio recording with its finely tuned mix. In his first couple of albums, Posgate's music was more akin to M-Base angularity with plenty of left turns. On this recording, the ideas unfold more gradually. Posgate explains, "These days I am less interested in things being too complex and more interested in finding the essence of a song with a cohesive band sound." A real asset on this disc is drummer Jean Martin, whose great phrasing (along with the mix's nuanced stereo imaging) is able to drive the band even when a song is very quiet. Together with Rob Clutton on bass, the rhythm section can lay down a loose groove, as on "Helping Out," or can be more textural, as on the atmospheric opener "Famous Movie Director." Posgate excels in that song's rhythmic variations; his playing sounds best in the more composed pieces. When asked about his compositional influences, he mentions European and Indian classical inspiration and, "everything about Henry Threadgill's music is inspiring to me... I certainly love to find a balance between [structure and improvisation] within both a composition and a whole nights worth of music that keeps me and the rest of the band happy." Threadgill's music would be a good reference point for Jazzstory, with Posgate occupying the role of leader/conductor. To further the Threadgill comparison, perhaps trumpeter Lina Allemano is the band's Olu Dara, without Dara's über-bluesman persona. She can rip through the cross rhythms of the funkier bits, and also play full-toned legato lines in "If Boats." This is the best disc that Posgate has yet produced. Posgate will be touring throughout Canada in September and October. (Guildwood)