Toronto jazz quartet Peripheral Vision surges forward with new album

After 10 years and five records, Toronto quartet Peripheral Vision have firmly established themselves as one of our country’s finest and most interesting groups.

Led by guitarist Don Scott and bassist Michael Herring and rounded out by saxophonist Trevor Hogg and drummer Nick Fraser, the group has crafted a new recording called Irrational Revelation and Mutual Humiliation, formatted like a double album with an 88-minute runtime and lots of different sounds to explore.

The group has always had a commendable contrast to them: Their music is intellectual in its approach but almost lo-fi in its execution. Their sound is comparable in a way to a punk or garage band, with a raw production style that gives the music so much of its immediacy.

The new album was produced by Jean Martin, his third with the band. This time, Martin opens up the sound by adding additional layers and musicians to the live-off-the-floor recording.

The Juno-nominated band says this music originated in the long van rides while touring in Germany. There’s a lot of music here to digest, but each tune has its own sonic space and feel. These musicians know each other and clearly enjoy exploring this music together.

Irrational Revelation and Mutual Humiliation continues the themes of their last couple of recordings: “trying to balance the drive for forward momentum with the neuroses that hold us back.” It’s a universal theme that in this case yields terrific results.


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