Respect Sextet Respect in You

Last year, Exclaim!’s number one improv release was Home Speaks to the Wandering by Dead Cat Bounce. The Respect Sextet trod very much in the same musical territory featuring soulful, harmonically challenging riffing within freedom and grooves. The Sextet seem to be conversant in every shade of jazz, and create long form suites which never seem too over-analysed. The disc opens with a 15-minute version of Fred Anderson’s "3 on 2.” The first few minutes feature the band building to spiritual freedom, anchored by Anderson’s no-nonsense melody. By the time the funk hits about seven minutes into the track, it’s merely a bonus to the highly-spirited and soulful collective improv. Over the next eight minutes the band ebb and flow back into the increasingly New Orleans-informed rhythm of drummer Ted Poor. Trumpeter Eli Asher’s "Nation’s Capital” starts out as a page from the Ornette Coleman songbook, but settles into a long homemade percussion jam which recalls the go-go sound of the nation’s capital in the ’80s. The Sextet are consistently successful at teasing grooves out of textures and holding them down at low dynamics. Any one of these tracks could work in a commercial jazz radio format, because they swing hard in the tradition, but they’re always willing to other planes at any moment. It’s not music that is trying to be experimental, it just goes off… Highly recommended. (Roister)