Alex Lefaivre’s latest quartet outing is a delightfully sequenced blend of energy and lightness that makes for a compulsively listenable project. As a listener, I’ve found that my most memorable experiences often occur when I can tangibly sense how much musicians relish interacting with each other, and this recording is a prime example of such synergy. Lefaivre’s basslines and guitarist Nicolas Ferron’s rhythmically inclined blowing on standout original Reset serve as a wondrous showcase for two musicians who are fully engaged with each other, listening intently. Meanwhile, Alain Bourgeois’ drumming is sensitive and understated, playing nothing but the bare functional necessities for most of the album’s duration, releasing only the occasional outburst for the most exciting moments. The band is locked in and Lefaivre is the primary driving force behind their sound. In the compositional sense, his lines propel the forward motion of the rhythm section while anchoring the melodic content, particularly on the rather animated track Sly.
Lefaivre’s time feel is rock-solid and assured, helping to firmly ground the ensemble during the eccentric time signatures of tracks like Sneaked. He also fashions the bass into a highly effective comping instrument, providing a springboard for Erik Hove’s alto showcase on Sin City. All in all, Lefaivre has assembled both a group of artists and a set of tunes (playfully including a Led Zeppelin cover) that have allowed him to refine his band, leading chops in a very enjoyable way.