the well-oiled opening of the first track, Drip Drop March to
the symmetrical ascending lines of Couch, to the crunchy, cool Underside
of a Table to the romantic rustling of Skullsplitter, to
the off-kilter Acrobat and big-swinging Sketches 5 and
7 -- this album unfolds in all directions at once. The
comfortable fit between the boozy swoon of Doug Tielli’s trombone
lines, the relaxed ornaments of Brodie West’s alto saxophone, the
gentlemanly love of Nick Fraser’s drumming, the swagger of Eric
Chenaux’s twisted electric guitar and the deft backbone of Rob
Clutton’s double bass makes Wives simmer with a gratifying mix
of space and closeness, inventiveness and sensuality.
Blues for a Bright Day closes the album and indicates (in
transparent, diffuse layers aching to resolve) the sophisticated
dovetailing of melodies and experiment played here by Drumheller.