Personnel: Geoffrey Keezer (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Mike Pope (acoustic bass, electric bass); Terreon Gully (drums).
Audio Mixer: Mike Pope.
Liner Note Authors: Geoffrey Keezer; Joe Locke; Mike Pope; Terreon Gully.
Recording information: Walk Your Dogma Production Studios (11/08/2011/11/09/2011).
Photographers: Christoph Risch; Branko ; Wayan Vota; Mohamed Hussain; Marie Le Claire; Kurt Zwahlen.
The Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group is a perfect match, balancing the wide musical interests of two leaders who are also formidable composers and performers. Joining them are two up-and-coming young artists who've been on the national jazz scene for over a decade apiece, drummer Terreon Gully (who made his mark recording with Stefon Harris, Jacky Terrasson, and Lizz Wright) plus bassist Mike Pope (who recorded with Chuck Loeb, Stefan Karlsson, and Bill Bruford, among others). The quartet mostly focuses on originals by the co-leaders, with Keezer sometimes incorporating electric keyboards and Pope alternating between electric and acoustic basses. Locke's tense "Darth Alexis" produces plenty of fireworks with his explosive solo and Keezer's striking blend of acoustic and electric keyboards. The vibraphonist's refreshing arrangement of John Coltrane's "Naima" adds an unusual countermelody with the theme stripped down and initially hidden in the background, then spacing it out in an irregular manner. Keezer's setting of British singer/songwriter Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" is a transcription of her a cappella recording, with his electric keyboards providing a hip accompaniment for Locke's sparse vibraphone. The pianist takes center stage in his glistening "Terraces," a piece full of surprising twists. While Joe Locke and Geoff Keezer both lead individual groups of their own, the occasional opportunity for them to join forces is guaranteed to produce memorable music. ~ Ken Dryden