The Last Quiet Place’ by Ingrid Laubrock Review: A Jazz Sextet’s Outsize Sound

The German-born saxophonist issues a dynamic, sprawling album with a band that includes bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Tom Rainey and cellist Tomeka Reid

Perhaps emblematic of complicated economic times, jazz musicians are doing more with less these days, especially when it comes to midsize ensembles. Bands of six, seven or eight musicians are producing a spectacular range of tonal colors, varied moods and unique harmonies to a degree that was once the province of larger bands and orchestras. Drummer Tomas Fujiwara, guitarist Mary Halvorson, trumpeter Adam O’Farrill and saxophonist Anna Webber all lead midsize bands that are unusually expansive in their sound. Saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock, a sometime collaborator of Ms. Halvorson’s, follows in this lineage with her new recording, “The Last Quiet Place” (Pyroclastic). It features a stellar and unusually configured sextet featuring bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Tom Rainey, cellist and recent MacArthur fellow Tomeka Reid, violinist Mazz Swift and guitarist Brandon Seabrook.

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