The Thousands Phil Slater Quartet Kimnara Records THESE four players, some of the best in the country, know each other’s work well. The leader, Sydney trumpeter Phil Slater, wrote all seven tracks, at least a couple of which have been previously recorded. But these are more elongated versions, with ample time for everyone, especially Slater’s long- term simpatico pianist, Matt McMahon, to thoroughly explore. Burden of Corners runs for more than 10 minutes, moving through various tempos and moods from plaintive and mystical to superheated swinging. With Lloyd Swanton’s double bass and drummer Simon Barker substantially underpinning them, piano and trumpet are free to meander or stoke excitement to a delirious level, as they do in the climax to Tedium . Slater’s soft brass tonality in slower passages introduces a magical atmosphere, while elsewhere when bass and drums lay down an ineluctable beat, the trumpet flies high overhead, pulsing, fluttering and declaiming. McMahon’s piano is never less than superbly complementary, building up the melody’s harmonies, using tremolo and rippling chords and soloing with great invention and rapport.