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Album review: 'Assorted Colors'


Spin Cycle

"Assorted Colors"

Sound Footing Records

There's a moment about halfway through "Possum Dark," the third track on Spin Cycle's "Assorted Colors," when you might forget you are listening to a jazz album. Saxophonist Tom Christensen, who co-leads the group with drummer Scott Neumann, wrote the tune and takes the first solo with a powerful torrent of notes. After a brief bass solo by Phil Palombi, guitarist Pete McCann enters and the tune takes a wide left turn into Jimi Hendrix territory. It's that sort of unpredictability that makes Spin Cycle one of freshest groups on the scene today.

Christensen and Neumann each contribute five nicely varied tunes. Neumann's "Etosha" is especially playful in terms of time signatures and a wonderful feeling of inside-out melodies. His "To the Puente" is a more traditional Latin composition in tribute to the great Tito Puente. A few tracks later Christensen is back with an up-to-the-minute tone poem of sorts called, and strangely evocative of, "Fit Bit." With a quartet composed of some of New York's best players, great solos abound from start to finish.