Innovative Toronto-based jazz quartet Peripheral Vision has released their long-awaited second live album, their sixth full-length release. From the first track, the listener is pulled into a musical realm where genre-defining boundaries don’t exist and the imagination can be let loose. The group was formed years ago by long-time collaborators guitarist Don Scott and bassist Michael Herring, with saxophonist Trevor Hogg and drummer Nick Fraser brought along for the 15-year (and counting) ride. The album was conceived during pandemic times and was a much-needed creative outlet for these musicians, as it was for many.
The record stands out for its ability to make the contemporary and experimental accessible and captivating to listeners. This is achieved through two main components: a non-stop groove that gets the body moving and grooving, and through meandering between and constantly mixing genres to create an intriguing set of tunes. Each piece has its clear personality and moods that the listener is transported through. One of the influences for the record that Scott/Herring mention is “influential bassist Dave Holland’s thoughts on achieving balance in life,” which highlights the perfect word to describe this set of pieces: balance. Balance is reflected through the way each musician has a definite role to play within each song, how there is an equilibrium in regards to movement and mellowness and how we are left with a sense of symmetry and stability as the last notes fade.