On his fourth album as a leader, New York bassist and composer Dave Phillips takes his quartet Freedance to brand new places. The sole vehicle for Phillips’ writing since he moved to New York City in 1985, the core group consists of guitarist Rez Abbasi, alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher and drummer Tony Moreno. Confluence is true to its name: a collection of eight works that blend folklike melodies, mixed meters and dynamic instrumental interplay to create a modern chamber jazz sound. Freedance’s almost two decades together have allowed the group to reach a deep sense of ensemble that can only be achieved with time and natural chemistry. But for the first time, the quartet invited two guests to contribute. Pianist Jon Werking and percussionist Glen Fritten have brought additional dimensions of color to the group, broadening the spectrum of melodic and rhythmic textures. The release of Confluence will also find the group taking to the road as it’s done for years.
“Living at a time when tradition and sameness seem to be the norm, it’s so great to hear music that dares to take chances, mixes it up and gives plenty of room for the imagination to stretch out.” —Jazz guitarist John Abercrombie
THE BIG TAKEOVER
"[T]his sextet works in a rhythmically intricate, darkly emotive style. … [T]his is music that's continually mutating, thoroughly modern, and both viscerally and intellectually satisfying."
GAPPLEGATE GUITAR AND BASS BLOG
"[Phillips] writes well-conceived compositions [that] are diverse, harmonically-melodically-rhythmically lively vehicles for the sort of sophisticated jazz-with-rock-heft style the band does so well. … [A]n excellent bassist who does much more than standard background duties in this or any other of his albums. His solos are vibrant-toned lyrical gems. … [A] beautiful combination of excellent players and compositions that suit them. Many stars for this one." [FULL ARTICLE]