Whole Note Magazine: Jazz, 'eh
Eric Dolphy was an essential catalyst in the free jazz revolution of the 1960s. A brilliant multi-reed player, he made vital contributions to the music of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus, among others, helping to shape a generation. 2014 was the 50th anniversary of his death and among the commemorations is Tangent (for Eric Dolphy) by Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble (Trio Records TRP-020, kenaldcroft.com/triorecords.asp). True to Dolphy's innovative spirit, guitarist Aldcroft pursues his own course (only the theme of Section VI strongly suggests Dolphy's compositions), supplying composed materials to his band who are free to initiate and combine them, extending the freedom of improvisation while developing specific ideas. The spirit of group creation is strong and the results are consistently engaging, with complex dialogues involving all concerned, including trombonist Scott Thomson, bassist Wes Neal, drummer Joe Sorbara and new arrival Karen Ng on alto saxophone. Her finest moments arise in the cool fire of Section V.