Usually a quartet, The Explorers were down a sax player for their gigs today, but the remaining trio managed to speak eloquently despite missing their reed instrument. Led by guitarist Tim Rose, the band offers an expansive, roving sound while remaining rooted in the jazz-rock genre. Rose is at times lithe and high-flying in his fingerpicking, taking some songs on fast-paced, flitting journeys. At other times he achieves a kind of aching, open sound, describing an airy, grey landscape.
Steve Richardson on electric bass plays with an understated funk, but can also let his strings sing, as in the haunting tune ‘Devious.’ Aimless, but not lost, this number wandered within a rich and formless mood and did make me think of these musicians as explorers of internal realms. However, the most explorative of the bunch is drummer Alan Dale who was able to surreptitiously scurry away from the path he simultaneously laid out for each song, and whose all too brief solos were the most passionate parts of the set.
This was a solid, skilled, and diverse song set from an excellent group of performers.