Chris Speed Deviantics

This punch-up quartet, known somewhat as Yeah, No, showcases Speed’s virtuosity and that of his mates (Jim Black, drums; Cuong Vu, trumpet; and Skuli Sverrisson, bass). They are all just about too good. They float and sting throughout Deviantics, a solid statement of the now sound of New York jazz in this late ’90s hour. Speed’s writing is strong and inventive and his leadership skills propel out front of the killer tandem of Black and Sverrisson. Cuong Vu is a singular voice on the scene, telling new trumpet stories as they come to him in improvisational know-how. Fiery as this disc is at times, it is a more lyrical and introspective attempt at jazz languages than the earlier, harder Yeah No record from Vancouver’s always interesting Songlines label. Recommended here for its collective brilliance, exploratory spirit and its sure-handed capture of the meaning of jazz for the lucky listeners of right now. (Songlines)