Permanent Moving Parts
Label: All-Set! Editions
Underground Over Night; Everything Happens Once; Weathering Teenage Hopes; Quietly Fading Fast; Possible Daylight Dreams; Imperfect Sunlit Room; Surrender Before Then; Familiar Second Thoughts.
Permanent Moving Parts, Johnston's eleventh album as bandleader, completes a trilogy of recordings attributed to See Through 4, each one peering at jazz through Johnston's idiosyncratic lens. However, it also marks a departure from its predecessors, last year's acclaimed False Ghosts, Minor Fears and Bog Standards. Where both those discs traded in off-kilter élan, the present incarnation of the quartet sits on a sturdier foundation. Johnston and long-time collaborator Jake Oelrichs (drums) find themselves fused together at the band's core, anchoring the music's dapper circuitousness in a robust, assertive pulse. This drive liberates vibraphone vocabulist Michael Davidson, and Lina Allemano, “one of the most underappreciated trumpeters in jazz today” (according to DownBeat) to tangle up into unusual contrapuntal configurations. As always, Johnston's tunes manage strange formal detours, both scripted and spontaneous, while retaining seamless cohesion. This lineup deftly traces every single twist, all the while exuding confidence, musicality, irrepressible personality, and palpable joy.