Empirical - Elements of Truth (3 stars)

Empirical - Elements of Truth

Most diffuse and wide-ranging release to date

(Naim Label)

Empirical’s drift away from their early bop-oriented leanings continues on their most diffuse and wide-ranging release to date. There is a deliberately spacey, dream-like feel to much of the music, referencing Messiaen and Björk alongside Eric Dolphy and Andrew Hill.

Only hard-hitting alto saxophonist Nathaniel Facey and drummer Shaney Forbes remain from the original line-up, and Facey’s interaction with vibes player Lewis Wright is now the focal point of their sound. Bassist Tom Farmer makes an important contribution, not least as a composer, while guest pianist George Fogel provides effective and unobtrusive support in their explorations.

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