Turtleboy Smart Matter

Turtleboy are very much living in this moment of jazz. The front cover is sticker-ed with a quote from likeminded trumpet player Dave Douglas comparing them to the Paul Motian Trio and Radiohead, whose "Pyramid Song" they cover. I would also add Bill Frisell as an influence. Their highly composed, multipart songs are not unlike what Vancouver's the Inhabitants have been doing for a few years. Turtleboy straddle the line between rock and jazz, with particular affection for spare, impressionistic sounds, as opposed to overly hot playing. Not that Jonathan Lindhorst doesn't warm up his chops on saxophone ― dramatic crescendos abound―— but Ryan Butler tends to stay on the atmospheric side of things with his guitar, even while soloing. Melody is always more important than star turns. While this band have certainly found good interplay, there is a sameness to the compositions. Perhaps a live recording would bring out more of these songs. (Songlines)