Wave Mechanics Union

Arrangements, big on multicolored layers, and first-rate jazz chart “smarts” here take the works of a wide range of progressive rockers to interesting and always fresh-sounding regions. Centered around the vocals of Lydia McAdams, this workshop/big band, led by arrangers Ralph Johnson and Ryan Fraley, recasts gems from the likes of Yes, King Crimson, Paul Simon and others as distinctive jazz outings, each ear-catching workup a standout from the last. McAdams’ work displays a nice mix of underplay and jazz savvy, evidenced here on Ben Folds’ Selfless, Cold and Composed and King Crimson’s Heartbeat. She simmers sensuously on Suzanne Vega’s Caramel, buoyed by a most simpatico brass chart. Yes vocalist Jon Anderson guests on It Will Be A Good Day (The River) and a brief solo piano take on Steely Dan’s Dirty Work makes for a change-up as interesting as the primary fare of this set. Saxophonist Sylvain Carton and pianist Justin Kessler head up a crew of very respectable soloists. Further To Fly rates as one of the freshest of recent jazz releases.

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