As Orenda Records’ catalogue expands, so does both the scope of its music and the significance of the Los Angeles-based label. This, the debut album by bassist/composer Zack Teran, interweaves jazzy threads with streams of electronica, bursts of rock and more. Groove and drama are often uneasy bedfellows, the one tending to undermine the other, but not in Teran’s work, the drama facet culminating in a soaring piece called The Keyhole. This is music always on the move to new destinations via an improbable collection of reference points.
With Teran are trumpeter Brandon Sherman (who sometimes reminds me of the late Kenny Wheeler), Chris Gillette’s incandescent tenor saxophone playing and Miguel Jiminez-Cruz’s crisp drumming. The immediate predecessor to this release on Orenda, Fine Dining, was also by a reeds/trumpet/bass/drums quartet. Called Quoan, the band has virtuoso clarinettist Brian Walsh, routinely brilliant trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom and the nimble rhythm section of bassist Sam Minaie and drummer Mark Ferber collaborating on a mix of jazz and free improvisations. Fans of the great clarinettist David Krakauer should definitely have a listen to Walsh’s work.