More Touch

More Touch

Following up her solo vibraphone/marimba debut, 2021’s Maquishti, Patricia Brennan joins the Pyroclastic roster with a riveting quartet set that emphasizes her instrument’s place in the percussion family. With upright bassist Kim Cass, drummer Marcus Gilmore, and percussionist Mauricio Herrera, Brennan offers a set of compositions that maintain textural sparseness despite their overall complexity. The locked-in grooves of “Unquiet Respect,” “Square Bimagic,” and “Sizigia,” the dark and majestic beauty of “The Woman Who Weeps,” the extended journey of “Space for Hour”: everything depends on the sensitivity and virtuosity of each player, not least of all Herrera, whose animated conga work references the Latin jazz continuum in an intriguingly abstract context. Cass’ bass is the backbone, so much so that one could take him for granted and fail to grasp the depth of his musicality (his solo intro on “Convergences” is welcome in that regard). Brennan highlights not only her beautiful tone and harmonic concept, but also her evolving use of electronic pitch modulation and other effects that open new expressive avenues for her instrument.

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