Editor’s Pick: Blue Cranes – Observatories

Portland, Oregon’s favorite double saxophone-fronted collective works “a thin line between prog-jazz improvisation and indie rock catchiness.” Hip enough for hipsters, cool and accesible enough for the casual jazz listener, and funky enough for the folks who just wanna get their freak on, Blue Cranes have achieved, on their 3rd album, a sound where each individual member’s contribution is vital to the whole. After frequent touring in their current incarnation, the compositions on Observatories have grown up organically around the players, greatly influenced by their unique strengths and attitudes, as well as their comraderie and shared vision. With a vast repertoire and eclectic range of interests, Blue Cranes veer from pop to fusion to avant-garde with natural skill, from soft to jagged to aggressive with grace. If their goal is to “make exploration seem like the most enjoyable process around” then they have succeeded on Observatories.

You can get it on CD Baby right here.

Now here’s a live video of them playing Wayne Horvitz’s “Love, Love, Love” from about a year ago: