Group improvisation over the steady beats of Jim Black (Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio, Ellery Eskelin, Satoko Fujii) on drums works to excellent effect with Chris Speed's (Pachora, Dave Douglas, Eric Friedlander) lineup. This is the same lineup with which he produced Yeah No (Songlines), another powerful extemporaneous recording. Speed's instruments of choice on this recording are tenor sax and clarinet. Forging ahead with him into the cosmic reaches is Cuong Vu (Cuong Vu Trio, Dave Douglas, Orange Then Blue) on trumpet. Each piece starts from a melodic base, as in the cool jazz rumination of tenor sax in conversation with itself on "Eddie Cano." It is in this piece that the group does not simply unleash its creative forces. With the following track, "Tulip," it composes a relatively serene island bookended by tracks that are more dynamic. This ebb and flow of programming and display of free jazz prowess by Speed and Vu working in tandem make Deviantics an adventurous, art jazz thriller.
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AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte