Chris Jonas

Ensembles Unsynchronized

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With an all-star collection of musicians, Braxton disciple and saxophonist Chris Jonas snakes through a series of adventurous, cutting-edge compositions that creatively weave individual improvisations and complex, atonal arrangements. Combinations vary intermittently, with two saxes (Jonas and James Fei), trumpet (Cuong Vu), trombone (Joe Fiedler), and percussion (Kevin Norton) splitting time. Jonas displays considerable talent, ranging from his little tones on soprano sax to fugue-like constructions arranged for the horns. Fielder explores the back roads with his muted bone, while Vu roughs it with clipped runs. Norton shows why he is in such demand, with slanted, off-beat mallets. Fei complements Jonas, as the two lock horns to superior effect. It is Jonas' show, though, and whether through his eclectic, exciting writing or his unique craftsmanship, he offers a unique perspective through structured parts. The music never tells a story; as Jonas notes in the liners, it is "an abstracted set of musical experiences."