|1. The Storm We See, The Sea We Saw||5:12|
|2. Counted Like Flies||7:42|
|3. When Not Night||11:31|
|4. Everything’s Coming up Rosaly||3:40|
|6. The Face Consented, At Last||6:21|
Ken Waxman - WHOLE NOTE
A more common expatriate path is that of Burlington-born trumpeter Darren Johnstonwho now lives in California’s Bay area. On Shipwreck 4, he’s united with three other local, but not native players – tenor saxophonist Aaron Bennett, bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and drummer Frank Rosaly – for a contemporary lesson in advanced improvisation. Like a poised high-wire act, the quartet’s talents are carefully balanced on the six tracks. Counted Like Flies for instance, mates a bluesy honk from Bennett with Johnston’s plunger snorts that colour the theme even as both players’ lines snake around one another. Meanwhile Rosaly’s snare bumps and Mezzacappa’s upward string sluices allow the trumpeter to whizz brass kisses from his mouthpiece by the finale. This adaptability is further highlighted on a track like Bloom whose final sequence involves the trumpeter playing hide-and-seek with himself with one chorus gently muted and one open horn. With the bassist spinning out a sympathetic ostinato underneath, the polyphonic piece evolves from an out-of-the-gate challenge from the saxophonist to a mellower response from Johnston plus a brisk mid-section devoted to the bassist scratching sul ponticello tones and the drummer clattering cymbals and rim shots. This sets up brass role-playing at the end. Bennett’s muscular but tempered tone plus Johnston’s slurry grace notes also allow the band to bring the proper dignity to the set’s ballads. Overall, any tension engendered by outside techniques such as tongue slaps, key percussion or freak notes is resolved with an application of sympathetic harmony.