Whether he leads from his drummer’s stool or his the piano bench, drummer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Enrique Haneine is a mischievous creator, assembling different blocks to form other different blocks, stacking, unstacking, widening the fall zone with each new release. It’s an aesthetic that keeps you jumping hoops but, most importantly, listening hard to the logic employed.
But Haneine insists we should not be content to just sit and listen. Haneine will walk point but you have to follow his lead and the dance floor opens early. “Behind The Missing Whisper” shapes up as an ambling Thomas Heberer, tenor saxophonist Catherine Sikora (who truly deserves way more props than currently afforded her) and bass clarinetist Christof Knoche, who keel and pitch over a slip-stream groove laid down bare by Haneine and bassist Jay Anderson.
Making our way through that same roving expedition is key to Unlayered, as the ebullient “Luculent Jiggle” goes a long way to prove. And though its insistent samba pull feels like you’re hearing Haneine and Andersen through walls from a couple houses down, Sikora, Knoche and Anderson solo in your face when the front line isn’t throwing punches at it. On its heels, “Thriving Ring” has its own odd alternation of meter given and meter taken away. Sikora, diving from register to register, is particularly jumpy on this one.
Without a chordal instrument in sight the sky’s the limit and the quintet gets closer and closer with each succeeding track. A masterfully adroit syncopation of voices fires up “What Of What We Are,” while “Illustrious Bickering” is in free fall as each player looks for the right instant to add to what came before while simultaneously clearing the path for continued exploration. Haneine is the engine of “Queen Of The Underground” while Knoche’s Middle Eastern flavored wail and his easy hand off to Heberer’s downtown cutting on the slinky “Dance Of Endless Encounter” provide two of the eleven unique conversations found on Unlayered. Possibly Haneine’s fullest realization of his world-jazz vision to date.
Behind the Missing Whisper; Luculent Jiggle; Thriving Ring; Queen of the Underground; Dance of Endless Encounter; Seldom Disguise; The Sweetest Finding; Illustrious Bickering; Oust No More; What of What We Are; Once.
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