By Phil Freeman, Stereogum

Saxophonist Clark Gibson is the Director Of Jazz Studies at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, but he makes a record every couple of years; this is his fourth album since 2010. On it, he’s joined by tenor saxophonist Jim Pisano, trombonist Euan Edmonds, organist Pat Bianchi, and drummer Jeremy Thomas. It’s fundamentally an old-school soul jazz record. Bianchi’s organ has that after-midnight feel; Thomas’ drumming is minimal and right in the pocket, halfway between sleepy and seductive; and the horns dive deep into the blues. Gibson’s alto is slightly biting, occasionally adding an Ornette Coleman-esque crying note, but for the most part he plays it slow and clean, with the tenor and trombone flanking him and filling out the sound. The album’s closing track, “Slasty,” is a perfect end to the hour-long journey they’ve taken us on; it feels almost like they’re playing through exhaustion, without ever letting the music completely slip out of their grasp.

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