The Toronto-based Lina Allemano Four—the experienced musical chefs who sauté the ingredients in this six-course musical feast—have been cooking on trumpeter Allemano’s originals since 2005. Alongside her gritty and dulcet trumpet textures are reed garnishes from Brodie West’s alto saxophone, bassist Andrew Downing’s upfront throbbing, and Nick Fraser’s chunky drumbeats.
Vegetables is cleverly paced to the final “Leafy Greens,” a soaring and slippery exposition enriched by open-horn timbres from Allemano and cymbal clunks from Fraser—a telling contrast to some of the coarser earlier tunes. Allemano’s straightforward elaboration of the folksy theme of “Champignons” is interrupted by a midsection of mordant bass-string buzzes. Even grainier, “Oh Avocado” is characterized by the trumpeter digging notes from inside her horn’s body tube with knife-like thrusts that could separate the seed from the flesh in that designated vegetable.
While some may prefer more meat and potatoes on their plates and in their music, the organic creativity exhibited on Vegetables makes it a healthy choice for everyone, not just the vegetarians among us.