Toronto-based octet Eucalyptus has beensteadily gathering a devoted cult following since the release of their debut 10” Eeeeeuuucaaaaaaallyyypppptus in 2012. Led by acclaimed saxophonist and composer Brodie West, the band's languid, kaleidoscopic jazz is very much a collective endeavour, the product of an internal network of improvisational synergy they've built over more than a decade together.
Moves is their sixth release, and somewhat of a milestone. In addition to it being the octet's most psychedelic and arrestingly soulful release thus far, it's also their longest their first, in fact, to cross into bonafide full-length territory. Touted as “innately personal” by DownBeat Magazine, Brodie West's unique vision has been nourished by a bafflingly diverse array of sources. Meeting the legendary Dutch drummer Han Bennink in 2000 at age 24 not only sparked an ongoing creative partnership (including two records), but also led him in a number of other fruitful directions. Bennink was the connection to exploratory punks The Ex, who brought West aboard for their collaboration with Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya, which produced recordings and tours worldwide. Where the Brodie West Quintet (Astral Spirits, Ansible Editions) trades in clever jazz asymmetry and his duo Ways is a stark and focussed exploration of rhythm, Eucalyptus is where this eclecticism is most audible. The band simmers with polyrhythmic percussion, laid-back jazz sweetness, various strains of psychedelic wonk, and subtletropical aromas from dub on “Rose Manor,” named after the retirement home of his musical grandmother Lorna (ever a source ofinspiration for West) to Bossa Nova, as heard on “It's In A Move.”