Sound Underground, Quiet Spaces

by Sylvannia Garutch

Sound Underground is a trio with an unusual approach in instrumentation. Comprised of saxophonist David Leon, trumpeter Alec Aldred and guitarist Jonah Udall, the collective traverses through inventive textures and colors far beyond the limits of its unconventional chamber instrumentation.  Their album is aptly titled Quiet Spaces, as truly the spaces and beauty of the well-chosen ideas convey the lyrical and introspective sound of this trio.

“Tiny Kingdom”and “Quiet Spaces” exhibit this wistful introspection best, reshaping through wide emotional landscape and texture of colors, the trio creates an intriguing sound. On “Awake With A Start” Leon creates a playful solo that is augmented by a warm and round tone.  A cheeky tune “$2.43 Regular Unleaded,” likens beeps from a car door and a gas pump for a fun and exhilarating joy-ride.

The trio is very connected emotionally, you can hear an unmistakable characteristic in Sound Underground’s music, it’s the way they weave improvisation and composition together into a single musical fabric, spinning lyrical ideas that have both careful craft and captivating immediacy.What is most striking about this recording is the organic production.  Recorded live and without isolation, Quiet Spaces highlights a unique acoustic sound, intimate in personality and approach.  Left in purposefully the breath, key clicks, valve clicks, and fingers moving on guitar strings – allows the listener to feel as if they are personally in the room with the trio.

Overall, a delightfully engaging offering enjoyable in many facets.  Sound Underground is an uncommon ensemble instrumentation, yet not a foreign sound, calmly inviting the listener to dig deeper, and to enjoy the finer points of their music. Well done, highly recommended.

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