JAZZIZ On Disc
More than 30 years have passed since the Darol Anger/Barbra Higbie Quintet recorded Live at Montreux, a jewel from the Windham Hill catalog. Last year, Adventure Music reissued the album, which sounds remarkably fresh. Violinist Anger and pianist Higbie mesh magnificently, their sensibilities and tonalities rooted in jazz, Americana and world music. Their instrumental voices convey narrative, mood and emotion through 10 songs that were captured at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1984. Steel-pan maestro Andy Narell and guitarist/mandolinist Mike Marshall also contribute greatly to the color palette, and the proceedings are anchored by the richly toned upright bass of Todd Philips. The opening "Egrets," our selection, is a sterling example of the group’s dynamic. Higbie and Philips establish a buoyant rhythmic motif, before Anger swoops in and Marshall unleashes a current of pointillistic notes on mandolin. Narell is soon adding his chiming tones to the minor melody, as well, and you can almost picture the long-legged wading bird of the title making her way through the marshes.