"Swelling Not to Burst"


Delirious Tremor is, oddly enough, the name of a sure-handed local jazz duo -- guitarist Tim Jenkins and drummer-percussionist Dave Huether -- who devote much of "Swelling Not to Burst" to the kind of fusion jazz soundscapes and latter-day six-string funk associated with Pat Metheny and John Scofield. With help from some friends, including alternating bassists Scott Ambush (of Spyro Gyra fame), Chuck Young and Bo Eckard, the duo covers some familiar turf without allowing the journey to turn tedious for very long.

Jenkins deserves a lot of credit for that. Though he has chops to spare and clearly isn't opposed to jam-band grooves, his compositions are diverse enough to keep listeners guessing. As a result, the music slowly evolves from rather straightforward fusion funk into more curious arrangements, until Jenkins and Huether sound as if they've fallen under the spell of noted guitarist Bill Frisell's quirky touch during the album's languid coda, "Various Incarnations."

Along the way, Jenkins uses atmospheric tonal effects as well as mandolin, acoustic guitar and guitar synth to create a broad range of colors and moods, while Huether, occasionally assisted by fellow percussionists Rob Reid and Jon Seligman, fashions a complementary assortment of clipped rhythms and woven textures. Among the unexpected diversions is "Madness Keeps Me Up All Morning," a shimmering, percussive acoustic guitar interlude.

-- Mike JoyceAppearing Tuesday at Blues Alley. * To hear a free Sound Bite from Delirious Tremor, call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 and press 8125. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)