Atlantis Quartet, Hello Human (Shifting Paradigm Records)
If you visit the Shifting Paradigm Records website in search of Hello Human, you may be startled to see the legend, “Name Your Price,” near a box with a dollar sign and an empty space waiting to be filled. In fairness, the offer has a notation that reads, “USD ($8 or more).” After a dozen years together, more may indeed be welcome to the members of this tightly knit quartet from Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Their intricacy and interwoven playing are rewarding throughout the album’s ten tracks. The musicians wrote the pieces in what their promotional material suggests is a cooperative process regardless of who gets composer credit for any given piece. Several hearings have persuaded me that the quartet’s approach— relaxed, harmonically inventive, unpretentious—may be something many listeners are ready for. It’s unusual for Rifftides to include a video in the Monday Recommendation, but we’ll let tenor saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, guitarist Zac Harris, bassist Chris Bates and drummer Pete Hennig speak for themselves.
Four previous albums? Obviously, I’m going to have to do more listening.