9 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry has a distinctive tone, a pure sound that looks back to pre-'60s jazz. But his compositions have an open, flexible quality that's very 21st century. He’s played with numerous artists, including Charlie Haden, Andrew Cyrille, and Guillermo Klein, and has recorded several albums as a leader. 2011’s Ghosts of the Sun features a quartet with guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Reid Anderson, and that master of free time, the late Paul Motian. “Ms. Polley” is a slice of ambient jazz: Motian’s drumming dazzles with its loose-limbed unpredictability, Monder creates gauzy sheets of sound, and Anderson’s inventive bass anchors the atmospherics. Half of the brief “William (Drums)” is taken up with a solo by Motian; on “Williams III,” the band tugs at the same compositional material, stretching it this way and that. (At one point, Monder unleashes a torrent of noisy guitar that pulls the sound in yet another direction.) “Rose II” is the tense closer, with slashing guitar, a charged solo from McHenry, and a rhythm section that jostles everything before breaking into non-cliché swing.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry has a distinctive tone, a pure sound that looks back to pre-'60s jazz. But his compositions have an open, flexible quality that's very 21st century. He’s played with numerous artists, including Charlie Haden, Andrew Cyrille, and Guillermo Klein, and has recorded several albums as a leader. 2011’s Ghosts of the Sun features a quartet with guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Reid Anderson, and that master of free time, the late Paul Motian. “Ms. Polley” is a slice of ambient jazz: Motian’s drumming dazzles with its loose-limbed unpredictability, Monder creates gauzy sheets of sound, and Anderson’s inventive bass anchors the atmospherics. Half of the brief “William (Drums)” is taken up with a solo by Motian; on “Williams III,” the band tugs at the same compositional material, stretching it this way and that. (At one point, Monder unleashes a torrent of noisy guitar that pulls the sound in yet another direction.) “Rose II” is the tense closer, with slashing guitar, a charged solo from McHenry, and a rhythm section that jostles everything before breaking into non-cliché swing.

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