Guardian UK 3/2/17 4 Stars
However far from familiar paths the American pianist Craig Taborn strays, he sounds surefootedly convinced of his route, and however private his music, it emits a vivid intensity.
Daylight Ghosts – a superb quartet set with Chris Speed on reeds, Chris Lightcap on bass and the Bad Plus’s Dave King on drums – operates in Taborn’s favourite free-floating manner: changing fragments of melody rather than dominant themes come and go, steadily transforming the moods.
The Shining One mixes quick, boppish exchanges of motifs with twisting, written-unison lines. New Glory is exhilarating free-jazz with a Chick Corea-like Latin vamp in it, and there are deep clarinet and bass interludes, brief bursts of rock-piano riffing and subtle minglings of electronic loops and long-tone sax sounds on Phantom Ratio. Only players with deep jazz insights and wide musical references could have made this fine album.
Keyboardist Craig Taborn's Daylight Ghosts is the Minneapolis-bred New Yorker's third ECM release as a leader, a quartet album following the solo Avenging Angel and trio disc Chants. Both projects earned wide acclaim, with The Guardian saying that Taborn's "musicality and his attention to detail are hypnotic, as is his remarkable sense of compositional narrative within an improvised performance."
Along with the questing Taborn on piano and electronic keyboards, the quartet of Daylight Ghosts features two other luminaries from the New York scene - reed player Chris Speed and bassist Chris Lightcap - plus drummer Dave King, the leader's fellow Minnesota native and one-third of alt-jazz trio The Bad Plus.
Each player draws from a broad artistic background, as informed by rock, electronica and diverse strains of world music as they are the various permutations of jazz improvisation. Dynamism and spectral ambience, acoustic and electric sounds, groove and lingering melody - all come together to animate Daylight Ghosts.
Personnel: Craig Taborn (piano, electronics), Chris Speed (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Chris Lightcap (bass), Dave King (drums)
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