Ghanaian drummer, percussionist Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng imparts a world-groove quotient into the progressive-jazz and jazz-improvisation realm, here on this cunning and largely, excitable set. With his well-known cohorts, Obeng gels to free-bop, and offbeat, avant-garde metrics amid the band’s organic vibe, abetted by Bill Lowe’s fluid bass trombone and tuba lines. In effect, the soloists seemingly challenge each other, which is an aspect that underlines the overall impetus of the program.
With playful digressions via Taylor Ho Bynum’s coy, muted trumpet phrasings, Obeng’s peppery percussion vamps offer a buoyant bottom with Lowe’s pumping tuba notes. At times, the musicians segue into tumultuous free-form improv escapades and go for broke, so to speak. The frontline mixes it up with numerous contrasts atop Joe Morris’ pliant and sturdy bass parts. And the quartet pursues cyclical patterns at various pulses to instill movements that generate a sense of perpetual motion.
On "Dreamsketch," Lowe’s bluesy tuba choruses align Obeng’s African rhythmic exercise, and like other regions of sound and mode of attack, the artists merge gruff and emotive storylines with feisty exchanges. They afford themselves room to expand and explore while kicking matters into overdrive, then lowering the heartbeat to provide a multicolored aura, teeming with focus and sensitivity. It’s much more than just a rampant blowing session as The Othertet pronounces a mark of distinction, indeed.