Vinny Golia, Bobby Bradford, Ken Filiano and Alex Cline show both the muscular definition of a trained athlete and the intellectual acumen of a bright young student attempting to write a book of experimental poems. The group, evidently typified by stellar musicianship, not only manages to last the distance — over 70 minutes — but the “technical stamina factor” remains decisive in every single moment of this set. An example of enlightened self-government enriched by the mixture of straightforwardness, rationalism and intensity typical of the most satisfying jazz albums, Take Your Time is a fascinating chapter in this particular lineup’s book.
Along the eight tracks, the combination of two prominent personalities such as Golia and Bradford causes the linear materials to intertwine, challenge obviousness and even fight a little. Articulate statements — intelligently penetrating, never redundant — are released by the dozen, the swiftness of each instantaneous concept finding a clever contrast in diverse perspectives and moods, including consistently lucid variations on given themes. Basic parameters for the success of the dialogue are the forward couple’s timbral command and melodic ingeniousness, gifts that both artists possess in abundant doses.
Separating Filiano and Cline in our enthusiastic depiction would be ridiculous. The bassist offers one of his best performances in recent times, a brawny arco as the pillar on which whole contrapuntal edifices are built while letting everybody know what expert fingers can rip off those thick strings when the going gets tough. Cline’s enterprising fluctuations amidst conventional swing accents and reformist fracturing of pulse — not to mention a sensational support to the comrades’ far-sighted riffage when the time is up — deliver the music from frivolous frippery, punching the listener’s body with refinement and efficiency.