Paths: Tom Christensen
Tom Christensen – composer, soprano and tenor saxophones, English horn and wood flute
Charles Pillow – sopranino, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet and alto flute
Ben Allison – bass
Satoshi Takeishi – percussion
Andrew Sterman – bass flute (track 2) and bass clarinet (track 5)
1. Just To Play
2. Dude
3. Footnote
4. Negative Clank
5. Nostalgia
6. Iquique
7. Propelled by Portals
8. You're My Everything
9. Longing Hoping Longing
10. Critical Can Opener
11. Nardis
12. Sam Was Born
After six years as a working group, Tom Christensen's quartet has developed a distinct sound and vision that combines creative double reed playing with ideas from classical and world music and the unique percussion of Satoshi Takeishi. Whereas their critically acclaimed 2000 debut, Gualala (Naxos Jazz), defined their original chamber jazz meets world music sound, Paths adapts that sound to compositions inspired by events from Christensen's life over the last few years. From Ornette-like blowing to a beautiful rendition of "You're My Everything" to spontaneously improvised compositions based on the poetry of Richard Brautigan, Paths is an diversely inclusive masterpiece of modern music making.
The percussion of Satoshi Takeishi and Ben Allison's bass are beautifully understated to allow the complexities of this music to shine.
— Elliot Simon, AllAboutJazz-New York
Well worth a listen.
— Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal
Christensen and company are all about making beautifully accessible yet adventurous music. Just as bassist Ben Allison has been doing in his own groups, Christensen expands the definition of jazz from a small group to a chamber ensemble and a spontaneous poetry band. Eccentric music becomes an original vision when it is as smart and inviting as this disc.
— Mark Corroto,
From delicate ballads to angular choruses and ethnically-infused melodic lines, saxophonist Tom Christensen's music is always exciting.
— Sound Tracks, NewMusicBox
Paths is certainly an artistic endeavor of the highest order. Each of the horn players sacrifices themselves during the coordinated ensemble passages to create a unified sound, but then emerge as individual artists with something unique to say during their respective solos. From the succinct, but equally important, rhythmic and harmonic interjections of bassist Ben Allison, to the colorful rhythmic tapestries of sound created by percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, the ensemble is able to freely create as individuals, while projecting a collective musical picture with each ingredient contributing to the overall final product.
— Frank Bongiorno, Saxophone Journal
For all its inventiveness, spirit and sense of fun, the Art Ensemble of Chicago's influence is heard too little these days. Tom Christensen's band...does its best to set that right.
— James Hale, Coda
Multi-reedman Tom Christensen, covers a lot of musical terrain on his second release as a leader. The group spans world music, free-Bop, Ornette Coleman type harmolodics and more. By the end of the day, it becomes outwardly apparent that Christensen possesses the goods to be a major force within the global modern jazz arena. Strongly recommended.
— Glenn Astarita, All Music Guide
...a remarkably varied, original, and arresting work.
— Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe