Terminal 4 CD review [Truckstop/Atavistic]

Music Reviews
Terminal 4 CD review [Truckstop/Atavistic]
Mar 18, 2003, 01:57

TERMINAL 4 When I'm Falling CD

Terminal 4 have delivered an enormously luscious album, though set in austere, decisively matte-finish framing. To an ignoramus like myself, it seems post-Third Stream—a rich synthesis of jazz and classical influences—but instead of getting the orchestral treatment, it's been whittled down to bare essentials: bass, trombone and muted guitar judiciously abetted by cello or piano or melodica.

All the material here puts a premium on delectable lyricism, which is liable to be injected by any or all instruments depending on the passage. The production is sparse, muted and dry to the point of arty obtrusiveness. Overall, melodic themes tend to be bittersweet, at times downright doleful, even dark; even the occasional jaunty number seems to carry a worldly fatalism in its inside jacket pocket. It feels very much like a film noir soundtrack in search of ambitious low-budget visual accompaniment. This'd be good muzak for a boho bar hip enough to keep a clandestine bottle of absinthe under the counter for service upon request with the secret password.

Naturally this is outta Chicago where—us outsiders imagine—every thrift shop has been stripped of its last vintage fedora and gray 50s pinstriped suit by local neo-chamber jazz hepcats who breed as profusely as cockroaches in Manhattan. [Truckstop]

-Howard W.

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