Toronto-based saxophonist Kyle Brenders has studied and played extensively with Anthony Braxton, and he’s also a member of The Rent, a group dedicated to playing the compositions of Steve Lacy. The influences of both these American saxophonist-composers are evident in the debut recording of Brenders’ quartet, but what is more apparent is the extent to which he’s synthesizing and sublimating these influences into a personal idiom, constructing sometimes deceptively simple compositions with strong melodic and rhythmic figuration that often employ contrasting tempos and dynamics. The order and repetition of the themes seem to trigger more adventurous, liberated improvisations.

As a soloist, Brenders is developing a distinctive personal idiom that moves readily from the brusquely aggressive tenor saxophone of Sciatica to the swirling soprano of Porlock, and the raucously vocalic bass clarinet of Whisk. Trombonist Steve Ward often adds an elegant legato phrasing to his solos, adding another dimension to the music. Many of the threads come together on the title track, the composition a line of staccato even tones in the manner of Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music, the theme’s insistence ultimately launching Ward’s most adventurous solo, an exploration of multiphonics, and a raw explosion of energetic tenor from Brenders. It’s all contained and driven forward by bassist Tomas Bouda and drummer Mark Segger, both essential parts of a cohesive and focused unit.