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Timothy Norton - Visions of Phaedrus (Truth Revolution Recording Collective)

7 November 2022

Bassist and composer Timothy Norton doesn’t stint on ambition for his first album as a leader: Visions of Phaedrus is inspired by Plato’s Phaedrus, a series of imagined dialogues between the philosopher and the eponymous Athenian aristocrat. Taking his cues from the book’s informal tone, Norton follows the format, with he and his musicians having wordless conversations, casual or deep, about a variety of topics. Joined at the round table by saxophonist Jermoe Sabbagh, trumpeter Josh Evans, guitarist Leandro Pellegrino, pianist Randy Ingram and drummer Kush Abadey, all of whom he’s worked with in other capacities, Norton moves from lighthearted to serious and back, usually within the same piece – just the way real convos between friends do. Thus he presents contemplative melodies under song titles like “Baccari Rambo,” King’s Inn” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” while some of the most exuberant carry the sobriquets “Ergo the Boogeyman,” “Isle of Fogo” and “Saba Saba Bachu Bachu.” Expertly arranged and written, Norton’s music leaves just the right amount of air between lines, allowing his compadres to be expressive and still serve the tunes,. The band’s interactions sound organic and unforced, with everyone on the same page for the crosstalk, even if opinions differ. Ultimately, Visions of Phaedrus blurs the lines between the reflective and the whimsical, shining the spotlight on the art of conversation, rather than its conclusions – just like a real life experience of talking all night.