British saxophonist Iain Ballamy has had a quite remarkable and visionary approach to music that he stuck to for many years. Apart from being a busy sideman in the fusion bands of Bill Bruford, or the more mainstream and modern jazz outfits with Ian Shaw and Billy Jenkins, his own band "Food" that he co-founded with Norwegian drummer and electronics wizzard Thomas Strønen, has been at the forefront of nujazz, combining instruments and harmonic subtlety of jazz with rock beats, electronics and processing.
"Quiet Inlet" is their first on ECM, and is somewhat better than their previous "Molecular Gastronomy". On this album, Nils Petter Molvaer plays trumpet, replacing Arve Henriksen who was the trumpeter since the beginning, and Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz, well-known in the world of electronic music. Remarkably, on this album Molvaer and Fennesz don't meet each other, with the former playing on four tracks and the latter on the three other tracks.
The music is as you can expect, with beautiful improvised sax and trumpet lines, full of melancholy, soaring high over a backdrop of electronic waves and alternating subtle and pumping rhythms. It does fit within the ECM catalogue because of its romantic expansiveness and the required pure quality of the recording.
My only regret is for the great art work and boxes of the former Feral releases.
Listen and download from iTunes.