TREADING WATER (Earshift)
You relax into this music like it’s going to being a sonic hammock, and then out of nowhere, it smacks you on the jaw. The Avegicos brothers – trumpeter Tom and saxophonist Michael – have become pervasive in Sydney jazz circles over the last few years, and here they break cover with an album of their own that that keeps shape-shifting in mood, texture and even idiom. It also contains curious aesthetic juxtapositions, with the predictability of some of the compositional material seeming at odds with the prevailing imagination brought to bear in the improvising and in post-production.
But at its best there are such gusts of excitement and transportive moments as more than compensate for the occasionally sludgy themes. Joining the two horns are Felix Lalanne’s guitar (which lights up Blizzing), Novak Manojlovic’s keyboards, Nick Henderson’s bass and Alex Hirlian’s drums, who are tasked with making the sound-worlds woolly and even discombobulating, as well as energized. The more compelling compositions, such as the crunching Steady, lift the whole project, and give a sneaking suspicion that there is a much stronger record from these two still to come.