Former Vancouver guitarist Ken Aldcroft moved to Toronto four years ago, but he still shows the West Coast experimental spirit on his new double disc, Kirby Sideroad.
Only a few tracks - the acoustic, funk-beat From a Pause, the melodious Not Far from Home - have conventional moments. Many tracks are like the opening title song, filled with tempo and direction changes and free-playing sections. This happens on Things to Come where Aldcroft acts more as a sound explorer than a fretboard wizard; he's more interested in creating new sounds and effects than knocking you out with technical proficiency.
On et cetera, Wes Neal's upright bass sounds like a buzzing insect, Aldcroft's guitar a bubbling brook. A Strained Hello begins with a conventional walking bass, then breaks off into variances by the musicians, including an impressionistic section. The quartet is rounded out by saxophonist Evan Shaw and drummer Joe Sorbara. Three stars.