For decades, Toronto’s field of creative music has thrived on the creative energies of a handful of original, uncompromising voices. Alto saxophonist and composer Brodie West is unquestionably one of them, and his Quintet recording, Clips, is both his most achieved work and one of the best Canadian jazz records of 2018. West’s smart, varied composing blends quirky post-Coleman bebop chromatism, agitated rhythmic investigation, and the rough-hewn lyricism inspired by his work with The Ex and legendary Ethiopian tenorman, Getatchew Mekuria. West and pianist Tania Gill share a gloriously lateral imagination, and their stellar rapport is spurred on by the off-kilter swing of the twinned-drum team of Evan Cartwright and Nick Fraser, plus Josh Cole’s solid double-bass foundation. Outstanding.
Photo by Martin Reis