Robert Iannapollo, oct - nov - dec 2009 | cadence | 69

Toronto-based guitarist KEN ALDCROFT has been issuing record- ings by his Convergence Ensemble since around 2005. A five- piece group, it’s an ensemble that mixes the leader’s creative com- positions with first rate improvising. The band consists of Aldcroft (g), Evan Shaw (as), Scott Thomson (tbn), Wes Neal (b), and Joe Sorbara (d). The only musician of whom I’ve previously heard is Sorbara who was the drummer in Glen Hall’s Trio Muo. He’s superb for Aldcroft’s music, a drummer with a lot of imagination, pays attention to detail, and knows when to drive a soloist and when to ornament the music. The other players are also able to navigate this complex music easily.

Aldcroft’s compositions (Trolleys / First, Not Last - Reminiscent - Sphere / Sojourn - First, Not Last / Apples. 67:07. 2/13/07, Toronto, Canada.) don’t rely on the typical theme-solos-theme format. He stretches the material out. At times, it lies at the bluesier end of the spectrum, at others in a far more abstract zone. Aldcroft’s music seems to be pitched somewhere between Mingus and Braxton. While each player gets his solo sections, these players seem just as comfortable engaging in group interplay as well as standing out front. But all five players acquit themselves well and TROLLEYS (Trio Records 9) points to a creative ensemble worth investigating. Let’s hope there’s more in the offing. Recommended.