John Jeffrey :: Passage

John Jeffrey serves Moon Duo’s metronomic drummer, but he steps out from behind the kit for Passage, his solo debut. This is very different territory from Moon Duo’s motorik pop workouts, but very much worth your time — an effort that blends spiritual jazz adventurousness with rigorous post-rock rhythms, minimalist ambient leanings with a warm melodicism. Slot it next to Ezra Feinberg’s similarly styled Recumbent Speecha favorite from earlier this year that keeps on giving. Accompanied by Rolla Olak on guitar and Marc Jenkins on pedal steel, Jeffrey lets Passage’s four lengthy compositions unfold at their own pace, hypnotic and patient. But no matter how wide-open things get, he grounds every moment with a sturdy rhythmic sensibility. You might be tempted to zone out at times — and that’s fine (the deeply soothing closer, “Pacific Calm,” lives up to its name). But there’s always a pleasant surprise ahead, another wave to ride. |t wilcox

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