Composed as a tribute to the French explorer La Perouse, Chris Cody’s ninepiece Astrolabe suite draws upon the musical influences of the jazz, classical, and world music genres. The suite transports listeners on a vibrant and exciting musical odyssey, conveying the feelings and emotions experienced by Cody after his reading of a ship’s journal from that voyage. Opening with the medieval influenced dance Mundus Vetus (Old World) what follows is a series of excellent compositions by Cody whose titles mirror the album’s over-arching variety of themes of the voyage of discovery.
Cody has a good ear for melody, and none of his themes disappoint. Nor are there any rhythmic lapses. With premise aside, this recording is a well-planned and meticulously performed large group session, with much to recommend and admire in the individual improvisations of the musicians.
– Barry O’Sullivan