Ambiant sounds

Marc Chénard, La Scena Musicale, no. 20:5, February 1, 2015

Working out of the Toronto area, this collectively-named sextet is a new entry to the label. Its music, like its moniker, is an intriguing one. Describing it is not easy, save to say that it unfurls in an improvisatory fashion, yet it also relies on familiar compositional devices. For one, defined tonal areas recur throughout the 13 tracks, underscored by ostinato figures (most of which are played by pianist Ajay Heble, best known as the artistic director of the Guelph Jazz Festival). Revolving mainly around strings and percussion, the group is bolstered here by some added guests, most notably Jane Bunnett, in one of her rare detours from her latin bag. For wont of a better term, this ensemble’s music could be labelled as ‘world improv’, whereby all participants serve the whole rather than projecting themselves in front of it (as in jazz). Full marks then for the concept, but still a little too reliant on its devices.

Full marks then for the concept