Denman Maroney Quartet
Gaga

[Nuscope, www.nuscoperec.com]

I admit it's been years since I heard any new music from pianist Denman Maroney. Last time was his "Fluxations" release on New World Records from a few years back, which was quite impressive. Continuing to play on the hyperpiano, Maroney exacts passages that are complex and mesmerizing with variety and depth. Most of the time, through the use of blocks or bars and by strumming the strings on the inside of his instrument, Maroney is able to come up with a subtle effect. There is no forced delivery anywhere within the confines of the record. Album's opener, "Fowler's Blues" features a subtly delivered work on the keys and string, while Ned Rothenberg play a slew of warm melodies on bass clarinet. Rhythm section - bassist Reuben Radding and percussionist Michael Sarin - take on a bulk of slightly skewed rhythms and nicely flowing solos. Each player is allowed a solo and the leader does a great job of unifying the quartet. If anything, the music presented here is more straightforward than most other things I've heard from Maroney in the past. Excellent release, brimming with top-notch creative music - one begging for an encore.

- Tom Sekowski


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