Violinist Tim Fain has worked extensively with minimalist composer Philip Glass in performances and in the preparation of new pieces, and the most impressive result of their collaboration may be the Partita for solo violin (2010), a seven-movement suite written especially for Fain. Associations with Johann Sebastian Bach's violin partitas are inevitable, and it's clear that Glass has had them in mind while composing in what can be described as an aspirational, rather than a merely imitative, manner. Glass has for the most part avoided his customary ostinatos and static sections, and his use of broken chords only suggests counterpoint, rather than propulsive rhythmic patterns. He has also eschewed any direct references to Bach or Baroque style, yet the Partita's kinship with the older models is certainly felt, and Fain's playing has a lot to do with it. The ebb and flow of tempos and the expressive use of rubato give the Partita an introspective feeling, and the freedom of individual expression is quite removed from the locked-in, high-energy ensemble playing that was Glass' early trademark style.
This is the second album emanating from celebrated British saxophonist, Paul Dunmall's 2012 visit to New York City, performing at the Vision Festival, and follows his initial 2013 appearance for New Atlantis Records on a date led by guitarist Edward Ricart, titled Chameleon. Hence, top New York City-based improvisers, drummer Andrew Barker and bassist Tim Dahl—the latter appearing on three tracks, lend their faculties for a set that poses a myriad of irregular rhythmic explorations. And while Dunmall's explosive tenor sax lines emphasize the group's power-packed tactics, the musicians' remain agile amid a host of changeable motifs, including areas where gruff, microtonal idiosyncrasies alter the flows and perspectives.