Tomorrow Calling is the Terry Gordon Quintet’s fourth release overall and the second on WEPA records. This group’s strengths are many, from the proven writing skills of Gordon and saxophonist Eric Walentowicz, to the always-fiery approach of guitarist Michael-Louis Smith.
The disc opens with a groove-based tune called “Looking In” that starts with bass and drums until the guitar, trumpet, and soprano all stew on a dissonant sub-melody before the real magic happens. It would be hard to find a more steadfast heartbeat than that provided by drummer Matthew Maguire and bassist Bill Lawrence, as demonstrated throughout the album, but especially with the start-and-stop drum groove and fretless bass riff on “Analogue,” which also features a fluid funky bass solo from Lawrence.
The title track starts off with a cool counterpoint between Gordon and Walentowicz before making way to a subdued melody that occurs only at the beginning of the tune. It starts in the bass and extends into the trumpet before breaking into the main theme that carries on throughout the tune and winds up closing it down too. This theme is punctuated by Smith’s dissonant rhythmic slashes that propel the tune forward and really give it a futuristic, retro-television-spy-show feel.
This album is packed full of diverse sounds from deep groove-based funk to near-free jazz (“Concatenated Cogency”) and even a beautiful samba called “The Sound,” which is dedicated to the saxophonist who also went by that name—Stan Getz. And then there is Gordon’s “Be Right Back (Return Imminent)” that starts off sounding like a pair of windshield wipers on a rainy day and is juxtaposed with a quick, dissonant swing melody that switches back and forth for the solos.
The distinctive package design by Vincent Pascuzzo also serves to demonstrate what this material is all about—searching for the next frontier. Tomorrow Calling.