Jacob William Quartet - Secondary Deviations

Robert Iannapollo, Cadence Magazine

Also hailing from the Boston area is bassist JACOB WILLIAM’s quartet with Jim Hobbs (as), Forbes Graham (tpt), and Croix Galipault (d). On SECONDARY DEVIATIONS (Ayler 114), they too focus on Free improvisation but the music is also composition based. William’s group is well chosen. Hobbs’ expressive alto is a known quantity due to the releases with his Fully Celebrated Orchestra. Graham is a new name to me but he’s an impressive player. His spiky trumpet work shows the influence of Wadada Leo Smith and perhaps Don Cherry but he isn’t aping anyone’s licks. Drummer Galipaut, another new name, is a kinetic player, perfect for this music, providing momentum that spurs these players on. William is at the heart of these pieces, working with Galipaut to push the music forward. He never overwhelms the soloist and frequently provides a running commentary to complement what they’re doing. His compositions (Welcome Steps / Palm Dance / Rishi Ways / Upload Method / Repetition. 57:33. recorded 6/30/08, New Haven, CT.) are usually sharp lines that provide effective set-ups for the improvisations. “Upload Method” has Graham pecking out a repetitive motive with Hobbs playing a line dotted with honks and squeals and smears. It’s almost playful and Hobbs keeps this strategy up for the bulk of the piece. “Repetition” is an Ornette-ish style line that recalls a theme like “Circle With The Hole In The Middle.” On the epic, 22-minute “Rishi Ways,” the multiple sections provide different rhythmic emphases that culminate in a final, slower section that is one of the disc’s high points. Secondary Deviations is a strong debut and it’s hoped that this is a group William will be able to hold together. A second installment would be worth hearing.

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