Recommended: Dan Phillips Trio – “Fading Light”


Fading Light never settles on one personality, and that’s a big part of the charm from the new release by Dan Phillips.  With his trio of drummer Tim Mulvenna and bassist Krzysztof Pabian, the guitarist gives hints of stability from time to time.  The opening track flirts with a Frisellian ambiance as a precursor to diving into some heavy jazz-rock fusion.  The cool blues of “Unbound” sticks around only long enough for a quick drink before heading off into freer territory.  The bass arco on “Ominous Thoughts” is a feint at a melodic focus, one of several actually, on an album that is better measured by the state of its tempos.  The romance with some straight-ahead jazz on “Was Going So Well” is just as fleeting as the indie-rock catchiness of “Up There,” because tracks like “Icy Fields” and “Saga” are the better indicators of the album’s chameleon persona.

There were several moments when I found myself regretting the trio didn’t spend more time digging into a particular sound or expression, but ultimately that would have come at the cost of the album’s alluring unpredictability and the sense that new, interesting revelations might occur at any moment.  That type of experience isn’t one to be taken for granted.

Your album personnel:  Dan Phillips (electric guitar), Tim Mulvenna (drums) and Krzysztof Pabian (double bass).

This Self-Produced album is released on Lizard Breath Records.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Chicago.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon