Mike Effenberger first came to my attention as part the Monk tribute band led by Frank Carlberg. The guy added a fitting — and gratifyingly never overdone — level of quirk by way of some mild electronics. Also, he was otherwise right on the mark with his quietly digging-deeper-and-deeper keyboard work.
Effenberger’s band Weird Turn Pro (band name inspired by Hunter S Thompson) recently produced a disc called The Repeatedly Answered Question that, though it features only a sextet, feels like it belongs in the company of the aforementioned large ensemble recordings.
Including Boston-and-points-north luminaries Matt Langley (reeds) and Chris Klaxton (trumpet), the group works through a range of Effenberger compositions that reveal his gift for blending “in” and “out” jazz concepts with classical approaches to reach a musical place that’s quite engaging.
Following on the intensity of the Ra-inspired and Fujii releases, I found the nimbly meditative tunes “Ozone,” “Grew Dim, and Went Out Forever” to be particularly moving. These minimalist laments speak to an uneasy future, yet another incisive vision of what’s to come from a group of committed musicians.