Dealing with free improvisation in the context of a large ensemble has always been a challenge. Sometimes a larger group just means more and louder noise. Other times, it can mean more arranged material and a lesser feeling of freedom. On Company Switch, Territory Band – 4 does a good job of balancing those extremes, and creating interesting and challenging music.
There are times when the music really swings in a spirited manner similar to the great Coltrane quartet. The rambunctious blowing one can expect from most Ken Vandermark projects is also present. The noisy elements of this CD receive great contributions from the guitar and electronics. The approach to the acoustic parts of the music is so, well acoustic, that the electronic entrances can be jarring. I am fairly confident that this is the intended effect. I don’t really like the way the acoustic instruments and the electric ones are mixed, but that is more likely a function of personal taste than bad production practices.
The album is made up of 2 CDs with three tracks each. The third track on the first disc is entitled “Franja.” This cut alone is worth the price of admission. It manages to effectively touch all of the bands varied musical bases in just under 21 minutes, and the music that happens during Fredrik Ljungkvist’s tenor sax solo is astounding.
This isn’t music that works in the background as you go about your daily business. The dynamic range is wide and the subtleties are an integral part of the musical experience. As with most music that stretches, Company Switch rewards the attentive listener.
This Cd is on the Okka Disk label.