The Mercury Program
Urgent notes flow from this seven-song disc of instrumental and slightly melodic music. The Mercury Program consists of Dave LeBleu, Sander Travisano, and Tom Reno, a peripatetic group who orbit between New York, Gainesville, Vermont, and places in-between. The sound is spacey but not futuristic, filled with odd instruments that turn out to be a vibraphone and a Rhodes Piano. This music could easily back an indie film or fill in between poets at an open mic night. The intellectual detachment of jazz underlies the sonic structure, but glimmers of the bridge and chorus of western popular music are never abandoned, making for a smoother listening experience. Drums keep things moving along, and occasionally a hi-hat is struck as the rest of the instruments pause dramatically to give it time to decay. The Mercury Program is squarely in the un-square world of arty light jazz, and has clearly marked its territory.