Personnel: Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone); Petr Cancura (tenor saxophone); Luther Gray (drums).
On the second album by his group Wildlife, previously heard on a 2010 disc of the same name, guitarist/bassist Joe Morris (playing the larger instrument here) has expanded the ensemble from a trio to a quartet, adding alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs to the already impressive company that includes saxophonist Petr Cancura and drummer Luther Gray. The group's six improvised compositions, taped one October day in 2010, bear titles like "Howlin'," "Tracking," and "Territorial," and there's something very wolf-like about the horns' interactions. At times, they recall recordings of sled dog teams setting up multi-part harmonies in the Arctic night. Behind them, Morris and Gray are a steady presence, playing a free sort of time that implies forward movement without demanding it, laying the ground under the horn players' feet, and only occasionally sending a slight ripple through it. The melodies have an Ayler-esque flavor, particularly when Jim Hobbs is crying and murmuring to himself; Cancura is an even more forceful, blustery player, not ceding an inch to his new partner. Any listener who enjoyed the first Wildlife CD will find just as much to love about the second volume. ~ Phil Freeman
Down Beat (p.63) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The Wildlife band happily ranges across the jazz spectrum from springy feel-bop to full-bore blowouts on TRAITS."