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Patrick Cress' Telepathy 

Meditation, Realization

Wednesday, May 4 2005
Bay Area jazz saxophonist Patrick Cress and clarinetist Aaron Novik -- the dynamic front line of the Telepathy quartet -- draw their compositions from a broad palette while maintaining a unified vision. The 11 tracks on the group's third recording since 2002 cannily interweave melody and dissonance, soulful World Saxophone Quartet-style riffs and ambient abstraction, rock-solid grooves and free-breathing swing. The composers often dig deep into unusual time signatures, which give the music a lunging momentum on "State of Memory" and a serpentine dreaminess on "The Shadowboxer." While the song structures benefit from cohesive arrangements and lots of notes on the page, an equal measure of natural-sounding improv also shapes the music. The result is a multiplicity of voices -- including spoken word (Leonard Oakland's fine recitation of poet Theodore Roethke's haunting "My Papa's Waltz" on "BRandL"), otherworldly blues-spirit vocals (by Michelle Amador on "Descension Into Madness, Part 3"), and a stunning interpretation of a Satie ballad ("Gymnopedie 1") -- coming together in a single kaleidoscopic sound.

About The Author

Sam Prestianni


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