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The Necks, 'Imprinting'

Listening to The Necks feels like plunging into a warm bath. On "Imprinting" — the first track from its upcoming 19th studio album Travel, out Feb. 24, 2023 — the 35-year-old jazz trio continues to craft scenic worlds that are accessible, meditative and otherworldly. The mixing is of special note here, allowing each member to occupy their own space to flesh out a musical phrase or idea. They may not overstep boundaries, but they're in constant communication with each other throughout this 17-minute epic. Listen to how Lloyd Swanton's double bass is played with an alluring firmness that's rounded out by Chris Abrahams' organ flourishes. The only sound that erupts from this homogeneous space is Tony Buck's occasional strike of a cymbal bell; its similarity to that of a blacksmith's hammer is a reminder of The Necks' endlessly irresistible and impossibly tight improvisations.

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Joshua Minsoo Kim