Aldcroft / Shaw / Sorbara: Remnants, Tom Sekowski, Wholenote Magazine, June 2006


Percussionist Joe Sorbara has been making waves around Toronto for the last little while but I'd only opened up my ears recently. These two releases (Trio Muo- Angles) help matters out in helping to discover this emerging talent.

Along with curating the Leftover Daylight Series with Ken Aldcroft and Nick Fraser, and being heavily involved in the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto, Joe Sorbara is also busy in recording his musical progress down to tape. His latest issue "Remnants" features a trio in which he's joined by guitarist ken Aldcroft and saxophonist Evan Shaw. Improvisation is obviously at the heart of this recording. From the get go, all three musicians attack the meat on the bone, hungry to chew large chunks at a time. Shaw has some of his best moments when he gets to have face-to-face conversations with Sorbara. His jagged alto attacks are a perfect fit to Sorbara's cymbal-heavy shimmers. In fact, Sorbara explores just about every facet of his percussion set. All is done with intricate care and a ton of forethought. AT certain points, Sorbara's subtle approach reminds me of another outstanding Toronto percussionist (turned laptop artist) Tomasz Krakowiak. Aldcroft is all over the map. From the shronkiest of guitar feasts on Remnants II, to Bill Frisell-like passages on You Make Me Feel Queasy and Odd. This is an album that is ultimately a welcome sign from local musicians, one full of jagged energy and improvisational mastery. More of the same brave sounds would be most welcome, thank you.