Nicole Mitchell / Nicole Mitchell's Ice Crystal

Aquarius

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The very title of Nicole Mitchell's Aquarius suggests something new age or hippie -- and that's not even taking the name of her combo Ice Crystal into account. She debuted this band in 2007, so this 2013 set finds the quartet -- also featuring vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Joshua Abrams, and drummer Frank Rosaly -- relaxed, comfortable with each other's quirks and styles. Mitchell may have started her career in the restless confines of Chicago's creative community and while there are moments on its second half that feel as open as a starry sky, Aquarius finds the flutist feeling relatively settled: not complacent, but happy to explore textures and emotions, creating a mood record that relies on shifting sounds rather than rhythms.

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