Dec 14 2016
What’s especially appealing about Perfectly Out of Place is how the intimacy of the core quintet’s sound is always at the center of things, no matter how great a presence Will Vinson builds into the recording. The saxophonist added strings and keys and a vocalist, and all of it pays off with added textures and a sense of something brought to a gorgeous full bloom. The harmonic contributions of The Mivos Quartet pay huge dividends behaving as forerunners and afterimages of Vinson’s melodic statements. Vinson adds some synthesizer parts, but does so with restraint, which on a track like “Upside,” it’s the difference that allows the joyful melody to sing uninhibited, with the keyboard effects keeping to a pleasant undercurrent.
For the most part, it’s an upbeat session, and nothing about that action is gonna generate a wish for anything else, but it’s still nice to encounter the contemplative tones of “Limp of Faith” along the way. Because even the slower pace of “Willoughby General” and “Chalk It Up” talk up a brisk chatter, with drums or guitar or piano instigating things on. The only real weak spot on this very strong recording is the unfortunate “Stiltskin (Some Drunk Funk),” a mainstream jazz-funk tune that sounds out of place with the rest of the album.
But that tepid criticism is eclipsed by this recording’s winning character, and makes it pretty easy to recommend.
Your album personnel: Will Vinson (alto & soprano saxophones, synthesizers, flute, celesta), Mike Moreno (guitar), Gonzalo Rubalcaba (piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizers), Matt Penman (bass), Jeff Ballard (drums) and guests: Jo Lawry (vocal), Jamey Haddad (percussion) & The Mivos Quartet of Olivia De Prato, Joshua Modney (violins), Victor Lowrie (viola) and Mariel Roberts (cello).
Released on the 5Passion label
Jazz from NYC.