Vijay Anderson Hard-Boiled Wonderland

This double trio ensemble pluck, tap, breathe and caress a kaleidoscopic collection of gestures out of their two guitars, vibraphone, diverse saxophones, various clarinets and drum kit. Without discussion or overt plan, the six-piece snake their way through ten tracks of free-improv, judiciously paring down to trios and duets to break things up. Saxist Sheldon Brown alternates between soprano, alto and tenor, while clarinettist Ben Goldberg does likewise on Bb clarinet and Eb contra alto. The reedists create entwining lines ― Brown in mid-range and Goldberg way down low on the unhurried, appropriately titled "East Oakland Reverie." The vibes of Smith Dobson create a resonant centrality, giving adjacent activity a point of reference while creating an itinerant pitch path through the surrounding sound forest. Ostensible leader of this collaborative effort, drummer Vijay Anderson is a model of sensitive responsiveness, deploying sibilant cymbals or ominous rolling toms at just the right moments, as he does on "A Widow's Last Penny." A substance-of-group-feeling leads this sextet on a marvellous journey of exploration. (Not Two)