Published May 23, 2014Happiness is a warm bass clarinet. And with the kaleidoscopic array of sounds that radiate from Ronda Rindone's instrument, the world is a happier place, enriched with rays of creative energy. Her group Quorum's new album, Gestation, is a recorded document rich in instrumental relationships and sonic couplings. Rindone has chosen to interact with instruments close to her bass clarinet's range: cellos and double basses, trombone and a pair of Canada's finest free jazz/free improv drummers. The ability of instruments to reflect, refract, and interpenetrate each other's sounds testifies to the rightness of Rindone's choice of palette.
The 11 tracks, which feature various groupings of cellists Anne Bourne and Tilman Lewis, bassists Rob Clutton and Aaron Lumley, trombonist Scott Thomson and drummers Nick Fraser and Joe Sorbara, rumble and sway with motion and intensity. "Nine," with Lumley and Bourne, moves from attack mode to contemplative melodicism; "Five" surprises with Thomson's trombone snorts. One of the strongest tracks is "Six," with two basses and two drums. What proves the acuteness of Rindone's vision is how completely engaging the album is as a whole: the whole thing just works. (Independent)