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Eyes in the Back of My Head by Cosmologic

The press material states that this 2008 release signifies the quartet’s first album that is backed by wider distribution, however it’s the band’s fourth effort to date since its 1999 formation. Thankfully, the producers at Cuneiform Records had the foresight and motivation to get the good word out. Here, the musicians mold a singular mindset, which is a component that radiates throughout this starkly inventive and superfine progressive-jazz statement.

As a tight-knit and largely expressive unit, they come at you from all angles. It’s a highly-disciplined group, where they also specialize in loose-groove like expansions. Sparked by youthful vigor and a continual reengineering methodology, they fuse unorthodox time signatures with spirited soloing jaunts into the grand schema. One of the distinct pleasures of the album lies within the quartet’s acute ability to keep the listener off-guard. A very cunning approach indeed, as they’re apt to lower the temperature via bassist Scott Walton’s gruff, arco phrasings amid the hornist’s inquisitive dialogues. It would be difficult to pigeonhole these folks, which is a good thing, especially when we consider the horde of characterless, post-bop units that sprout up faster than weeds growing out of concrete.

On "Code View," tenor saxophonist Jason Robinson shoots bullets atop trombonist Michael Dessen’s weepy wah-wah lines, to consummate a verbose sequence of exchanges. In addition, the rhythm section coyly executes a perimeter of sorts, during the sublime moments. Then on other tracks, the artists dish out garrulous free-bop choruses via complex, unison phrasings and more. No doubt, this is a band for the new age of jazz. Their charismatic and rather impudent mode of delivery bears the mark of distinction. (Heartily recommended!)

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Cosmologic
  • CD Title: Eyes in the Back of My Head
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Cuneiform Records
  • Musicians: Jason Robinson (tenor saxophone), Michael Dessen (trombone), Scott Walton (bass), Nathan Hubbard (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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