Aram Shelton - Alto saxophone, Clarinet
Keefe Jackson - Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Josh Berman - Cornet
Fred Lonberg-Holm - Cello
Anton Hatwich - Bass
Frank Rosaly - Drums

Chances are, Chicago has a cooler jazz scene than your city. With its young vanguard of experimentalist, Two Cities, the new offering from Fast Citizens, proves a second wave is within the ilk of Ken Vandermark, Chicago Underground Duo, and Isotope 217. The sextet Fast Citizens' rotating leader chair is this time occupied by saxophonist Aram Shelton.

Although the album is built around free-form clusters, usually with each of the six members in mix, they are set within a post-bop ethos. The opener and title track is a colorful trek through not one, or two cities, but an array of sounds for touring many different places. Josh Berman and Keefe Jackson round out the front end. All three invited each other in and out at various points in the song, some times harmonizing warmly, other times tip-toeing around one another. Big News flourishes Fred Lonberg-Holm's cello with entrances by horns just after the 1:00 mark and creeping rhythm lines soon thereafter.

The album even dips into third stream. VCR #9 is Mingus-like in mood and image with its dizzying whirs. Clocking in at just over a minute long, Wontkins is the rapid unpacking and throwing about the room of angular free jazz, but certainly not a shrugged-off after thought. It's voice on the album sheds more onto what type of sextet Shelton is leading. The group's last album, led by Keefe Jackson, was more mature in its track by track organization. Here, the Fast Citizens sound juvenile, but are in no way unweaned.


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