Tony Wilson 6tet Pearls Before Swine

Starting with a joyously raucous reading of late trumpet guru Freddie Stone’s "EE-Gypt-Me,” wherein leader guitarist Tony Wilson rocks out royally and sax player Masa Anzai squalls with transcendent abandon, Pearls Before Swine next presents the wonderful and exotically quirky "Squirk.” All of the players on this CD are members in high standing in Vancouver’s eminently evolved improv scene and all hold odd metres close to their hearts. So get your calculator out if you want to tap your foot along to these pieces, which take off with loping pulses and energetic ensemble work. Sometimes tunes come off a bit machine-like but mostly Skye Brooks’ limber drumming keeps the proceedings moving along throbbingly. Trumpeter JP Carter delivers his solos with conviction and a bracing, big sound, and violinist Jesse Zubot insinuates slithering bowed lines of daring inventiveness and deft articulation. The 6tet’s reading of "I am the Walrus” begins in Zappa-with-Ponty fashion and gets into a marvellous group noise whiteout — big fun! Wilson’s group relishes the material and its challenges and this comes across in the gusto with which each tune is delivered. Pearls Before Swine rewards repeated listening. (Drip Audio)