The oboe is a rare instrument in improvised music or jazz, but you can enter Christensen’s name as not only a new presence on the scene in this area, but as a musician attempting to cultivate inroads and innovations. He also plays a meaty tenor and clarinet, while second woodwind player Charles Pillow is a perfect partner for sharing ideas and trading lines. The glue is hand percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, whose frame drum and cymbal work surrounds the ensemble with sensitive accents and at times driving rhythms. Ben Allison and Doug Weiss split bass-playing time on half of the nine tracks.
Hopefully this is the first of many fine recordings Christensen and friends will bring to the jazz world. It’s a delight to hear music that is this original without being clichéd or trite and relevant to the real world of the present, the ancient, and the future. Recommended.