Strap yourselves in. You’re in for a ride unlike anything you’ve experienced. Saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff challenges the listener with Flux (Mythology Records, 2016).
Nachoff plays the tenor. Accompanying him are David Binney, alto sax; Matt Mitchell, piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Moog Rogue and organ; Kenny Wollesen, drums, timpani, tubular bells, and handcrafted percussion.
“Complimentary Opposites” opens with some quirky keyboard phrasing. The other instruments enter in what might best be described as random switching on and off. The saxes meld for what passes for a melody, but separate once the song goes full force. Binney stretches his creative muscle with an extended solo. His accompanists are seemingly in another world, as no two appear to be on the same page. Yet it somehow works. While each musician is in his own world, they’re not in conflict. After Nachoff goes a round, the mood softens for the acoustic piano. There, the drums do appear to complement, at times barely audible. Mitchell and Wollesen then take off on a parry and thrust sequence. This continues after the tenor rejoins. A slight hint of reggae is injected when the song shifts again, entering a more melodic phase. The pace, intensity and quirkiness pick up as the entire ensemble builds to an explosive ending. There are many elements to this piece. At 10 minutes, the group has time to cover them all.