Review by Willard Maus

This new Planet Arts cd highlights the work of four free-jazz practitioners who have been meeting regularly in the Milford, NJ studio built by drummer Michael D’Agostino and honing their craft there, the craft of spontaneous improvisation. The result of their collaboration can be found on FOURMATION, a disc on which the quartet plays some of the most adventurous, daring music imaginable. All 12 tracks were recorded on the same magical night, when they kicked off on a genre-bending jazz journey that catches the listener up in its unique spell.

Joining D’Agostino are trumpeter Rick Savage, keyboardist Joe Vincent Tranchina and bassist Bill McCrossen. The way they work is for one of them to start soloing and setting a tempo and mood, with the others then chiming in and building on the main ideas, stretching them out, adding new layers of meaning and complexity along the way. The result is quite astonishing, 21st-century jazz that not only sounds new and fresh but also touches one deeply.

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