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Produced by sympathetic ear Wayne Horvitz, Hughscore is the natural progression of Caveman Hughscore, just as Highspotparadox follows on from that band's album. But these compositions are joint works from Hopper, Chalenor, and Elaine di Falco, who together have created a set of tunes that are both more leisurely and more complex than anything they've worked on before. They make the complex, compound times sound natural and sensible. The twin basses of Hopper and Chalenor never overpower the rest of the musicians, however; instead, it's di Falco's Fender Rhodes work that seems to be dominant, whether on the enigmatic song "4 1/2" or the slithery dance of "Last Word Tango." It's a record with plenty of meat on its bones, often diving into the unexpected, like Horvitz's strange keyboard solo on "Upgrade," for example. And that means it can't all be digested in a single listening, which is undoubtedly a good thing. There are layers to be peeled back, and levels to be explored, all rewards of time spent with the record. There's a chemistry between the trio that transmits itself to the others involved, particularly drummer Will Dowd, who makes difficult times swing, and saxophonist Craig Flory, who's not afraid to add some wildness to his melody. Challenging, but still accessible, this is a delight.

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