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Box Studio 1

The quartet that makes up the avant-garde jazz outfit Box met for two days of recording in Stockholm with no music prepared beforehand, a recipe that could lead to brilliance or disaster… or something in between. The six tracks here were all improvised, and they have their shining moments, like at the 11-minute mark in “Untitled 9,” when anxious tremolos and a simmering rhythm section meld almost perfectly. But when a distorted guitar takes over later in the track, the psych-rock vibe saps the excitement. Four tracks are also oddly brief–all under five minutes–sometimes cutting short interesting explorations before they really take off. A mixed bag–but that’s part of improv jazz, too.

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