Convergence Quartet - Slow and Steady (4 stars)

Convergence Quartet - Slow and Steady

Oblique delight from Taylor Ho Bynum, Alexander Hawkins, Dominic Lash and Harris Eisenstadt

(No Business)

Slow and Steady begins with the sputter and hiss of Taylor Ho Bynum’s cornet, a quizzical utterance which invites some playfully curious piano from Alexander Hawkins. Harris Eisenstadt essays some skittering semi-quavers around his cymbals and rims, while Dominic Lash’s bass groans and jabs. After this warm up, the lengthy ‘Third Convergence’ showcases the international quartet’s versatility and lateral thinking. Moving through a range of modes and atmospheres, it begins with Bynum and Hawkins doubling up on a strident Godzilla soundtrack figure, while Eisenstadt burrows deep into the earth’s crust. On the turn of a dime, it becomes a reflective ballad, boasting some gorgeous soloing from Bynum and Hawkins. Lash’s terse bass edges the piece back towards choppier waters, his strings creaking and slapping against the wood like tangled rigging on a storm-tossed ship. Somewhere between Don Cherry’s free-bop and European improv, Slow and Steady is an oblique delight.