Trumpeter Taylor Haskins, an authoritative voice on the horn, is a member of bassist Dave Holland’s Grammy©-winning “Overtime” band and has previously made waves on his own (“American Dream,” Sunnyside, 2010.) For his third solo recording of all-original tunes, “Recombination” (19/8 Records) Haskins plugs into electro-sounds tinted with rock-era Miles pyrotechnics and the music buzzes with sonic brilliance (“Clouds From Below Us”), crunchy grooves (“Upward Mobility”) and nifty jazz-pop (“The Shifting Twilight.”) Drummer Nate Smith supplies the loose and quickening pulse an album like this requires. He roots keyboardist Henry Hey, bassist Todd Sickafoose and guitarist Ben Monder firmly in Haskins' futuristic tableau, which blend real and synthetic sounds with astonishing vibrancy.
Haskins' digital tinkering in and outside the studio pays off. The synthesized tunes flatter Haskins' trumpet playing (so effectively on “Passing Through”) and enhance the emotional payoff of his music. The nimble fretwork by Monder is especially fine (“A Lazy Afternoon”) and he complements Haskins' clean, limpid tone and inclination for ear-friendly melodies. A tip of the hat to the visionary graphics – paintings by Catherine Ross and design by Gabriele Wilson – its clever analog motif fits perfectly with the music and it’s the sort of detail that you can’t get from downloading. (12 tracks; 59:06 minutes) www.taylorhaskins.com
Labels: 19/8 Records, Ben Monder, Catherine Ross, Gabriele Wilson, Henry Hey, Nate Smith, Taylor Haskins, Todd Sickafoose