From an opening version of John Coltrane's Giant Steps that alternated between flyin' and funkin', Dave and his three ultra-talented colleagues appeared to be flicking through tracks of varying familiarity, recalling and/or investigating their themes, pulling them this way and that in solo and group improvisations and then moving on to the next groove that took their fancy.
The legacies of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Jimi Hendrix and Marcus Miller were particularly strongly felt but it was what these players did with the material at hand that really excited. Saxophonist Marcus Strickland has a gorgeous soprano tone and a style on that instrument that's like a choirboy singing when compared to his full-on, muscular, flowing tenor style, and guitarist Isaiah Sharkey combines the gutbucket, elemental approach of an old country blues picker with astonishingly well-developed and sophisticated, 10 fingers on fretboard guitar techniques.
Their playing at high tempo demanded considerable athleticism from Dave and the brilliantly nimble and super-powerful bass guitarist Nick MacNab, although Dave often seemed to be driving the intricate, ultra-fast ensemble passages from a drum kit framed by a pair of unravelling cymbals with scarifying tones.
Dave is, frankly, awesome, producing not just remarkable strokes such as a single-handed roll with first right then left hand but a constant rhythmical ebb and flow that was exhilarating not just in its impact but in its exactness and range of tones: a veritable one-man percussion orchestra.
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