Nu-Jive Perspective, the new release from Australian saxophonist Troy Roberts, integrates elements of soul, funk, gospel, R&B, and jazz-infused bop. Improvised chord patterns wheedle a diversity of movements, from scampering notes to smooth languid lines. A continuous state of flux keeps the music’s dynamics evolving and changing, laying down random verses and ad-hoc phrasing.
The saxophone puts down the main theme on “Fame and Four Tune,” interspersed in crinkling keys. Roberts and his bandmates, guitarist Tim Jago, keyboardist Silvano Monasterios, bassist Eric England, and drummer Dave Chiverston, deftly plot meandering notes that form an organic dialogue among the musicians. “Slideshow” is a fine example of the band’s keen sense of synchronicity and simpatico relationship.
The recording welcomes a splash of freestyle frolic through “Phish HQ” and then turns mellow and refined in “Jack the Sipper” and “Adamant Eve.” The soulful texture of the saxophone’s wispy tendrils gently splayed across “Avni Lane” produces a warm, fireside atmosphere. Later, the saxophone is marbled in swirling movements and traipsing acrobatics along “Through the Eyes of Psychoville.” The moonlight glow of the saxophone’s wails through “Belle” has a spiritual essence that switches to a funky strut along “Veepea-Are.”
The jazz quintet displays multiple expressions, most of which are improvised with an instinct for staying compatible. The freestyle scrolls have a post-bop slant with an R&B/soul polish. Roberts and crew show that making music is about creating dialogues between the musicians. It’s organic and continuously moving while interacting with one another, forming spontaneous dynamics.
Nu-Jive Perspective is the follow-up to the group’s 2017 release, Tales & Tones. Roberts and his band prove that creativity has no boundaries. There is always something new to explore each year. It’s another journey that the group can take using such tools as soul, R&B, bop, funk, and gospel.
Troy Roberts – saxophone & compositions, Tim Jago – guitar, Silvano Monasterios – keyboards, Eric England – bass, Dave Chiverston – drums