Joe Morris / Petr Cancura / Luther Gray – Wildlife

Joe Morris / Petr Cancura / Luther Gray – Wildlife

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[AUM056] - CD in 4-panel digipak

Joe Morris: bass
Petr Cancura: tenor & alto saxophones
Luther Gray: drums

Wildlife was the debut recording of a new group concept from master guitarist nonpareil Joe Morris, here featured on bass. Petr Cancura, a remarkably gifted young musician (and recording / mix engineer, too!), is a Czech Republic native who now resides in Ottawa (by way of Ottawa first, then Boston, then Brooklyn where we made his acquaintance, and now back home; we miss him here!). Petr's name was new to us at AUM when Joe first told us of his musical gifts, which are on gorgeous display here. Drummer Luther Gray developed from kicking it hardcore in Washington DC punk rock bands in the late 80s to being a jazz drummer of great finesse and technique in the modern day. He began working with Joe Morris in 2002.

The warm and inviting glow of their first group recording together emphasizes a very modern swing with each member of the trio drawn toward melodic elucidation via joy of creation. This is an incredible album of fully improvised music and it brings a great wealth of enduring sonic sustenance.

From the liner notes by Joe Morris:
“Wildlife improvises openly and collectively. Understanding the value of spirit and emotion is a part of the improviser’s skill set. Having the means to display them is essential. Discovering shape, groove, melody and form in the process of making them is the great reward for working this way.”

"This is a music that soars and bounces in a warm-hearted, open way. Much recommended" –Simon Adams, Jazz Journal (UK)

"Striking the right balance between tenderness and aggression, light and dark .. a very articulate jazz post-modernism that draws equally on the lexicon of post-bop, avant-garde and non-western improvisation to create music whose rich historical roots do not choke its sense of newness or vitality." –Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise

"Not quite a decade ago the perceptive jazz guitarist Joe Morris began a side career as a bassist, developing a new set of techniques and strategies for improvisation. “Wildlife”, a trio release with the saxophonist Petr Cancura and the drummer Luther Gray, highlights his ascendant command of the larger instrument. The album’s four long tracks were spontaneously conceived, and Mr. Morris steers the action with bullish clarity, whether he’s plucking tangled clusters or walking four beats to the bar. His rapport with Mr. Gray, a regular colleague, runs impressively deep. More surprising is his bond with Mr. Cancura, a relative newcomer (to me, at least) whose robust exertions on alto and tenor access free-jazz legacies from both sides of the Atlantic." –Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“The trio's congenial interplay is superlative, whether careening through the quicksilver changes of "Nettle" or extrapolating the somber motifs of "Crow." A compelling document of the saxophone trio tradition as a democratic exchange of ideas, Wildlife presents three masterful improvisers at the top of their game.” –Troy Collins, All About Jazz

"This album is a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians." –Phil Freeman, All Music

"Deeply satisfying.” –Bill Meyer, Dusted

1. Geomantic - 13:37
2. Thicket - 19:22
3. Crow - 10:08
4. Nettle - 13:34

All compositions by Morris/Cancura/Gray, © Riti Publishing (ASCAP)

Produced by Joe Morris
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Petr Cancura
Recorded at Riti Studios, Guilford, CT on March 16, 2008
Cover photo by Joe Morris
Layout by Anne Marcotty
Liner notes by Joe Morris