Leave it to ace guitarist Jon Stickley and his eponymous Trio to start the new year with a single, “Take The Air,” that does for a 7/4 time signature what Dave Brubeck’s Paul Desmond-composed “Take Five” did for 5/4 some sixty years ago.
Where Stickley and his associates — violinist Lyndsay Pruett and drummer Hunter Deacon — typically offer tunes formed around multiple melodies and grooves, achieving their impact through carefully crafted, artfully arranged sections, “Take The Air” is simpler, even more primal in nature. Built around a slinky, unadorned riff that underpins the track from start to finish, the tune insinuates itself comfortably into a listener’s ear before its cunningly off-kilter meter becomes apparent, and the easy breeziness of the opening never lets up. And while Deacon and Pruett have their opportunities to shine—the former in a brief middle section framed by modulations away from and back to the original key — this time, the spotlight shines mostly on Stickley’s supple guitar playing, which grows increasingly decorative, especially in the final minute before “Take The Air” fades away.
“Over the last couple years,” says the guitarist, “I found a lot of comfort in getting outside and taking walks. This song, ‘Take the Air’ came to me after taking a stroll and thinking about all the picker buddies I was missing. It’s the kind of laid back tune I’d love to sit around on the porch and play with some good friends. I hope it brings everyone a little peace like a good walk can.”
Listen to "Take The Air" HERE.