Jazz improvisation lends itself naturally to electronics. That so few artists in the genre have chosen to add them to the mix is, depending on your perspective, either a missed opportunity or a happily dodged bullet.
Chicago’s ADT has a new album that will move more than a few improv lovers from the second camp into the first. Insecurities is one of the year’s best so far.
Kyle Drouin’s electronics are presented alongside Jake Acosta’s guitar, Ben Billington’s drums, Carlos Chavarria’s saxophone and Adam Tramposh’s keyboards. No one performer leads. Improv jazz often finds a natural balance between the artists. They may not all share equal airtime. But the interplay between them – when they’re cooking – produces a kind of Sympatico not always present in jazz composition.
So as unique as Drouin’s contributions are (relative to more traditional jazz recordings), he’s given no special treatment in the mix. On tracks like “Commotional Rescue” and “Redream,” he adds a novel dimension to the work that is central to the disc’s success. But his work is presented no more prominently than anyone else’s.
Chavarria and Billington are a breathtaking match for one another. “Unlimited Self-Service” and “Retroactive Continuity” both feature the pair in full-throated wail. Acosta is right there in the thick of it. His tendency to play off of the other two provides a welcome counterpoint.
The album’s final track, “New Body,” showcases what the band is capable of in a more gently paced work. It’s a lovely addition to the disc that helps us appreciate the level of talent ADT has to offer.