The sixth album by Cryptogramophone founder and violinist Jeff Gauthier opens with what could be the theme to a fast-paced noir thriller. But it would take a daring director to stick with the audacious sextet for an entire film score, despite the consistently atmospheric and deftly mood-shifting playing of trumpeter John Fumo, guitarist Nels Cline, keyboardist David Witham, bassist Joel Hamilton, and drummer Alex Cline. The band finds much lovely and mysterious melodicism in the seven pieces here, especially when Gauthier, Witham, and Nels Cline play unplugged; when Alex Cline laces the ensemble together with the delicate precision of his sticks and brushes; and when Fumo blows his horn in wide, smooth-as- silk arcs. But the copious, sometimes clamorous, free-form improvisation and electronic effects—lent even more edgy excitement by exacting sonics that give every a sound a crisp, natural presence in seemingly limitless space—could never play second fiddle to images on a screen. Gauthier’s compositions (plus pieces by Witham, Eric von Essen, and Ornette Coleman) provide compelling points of departure for his colleagues to take off from; yet with second-nature sensitivity to the whole, these musicians always return from their risk-taking journeys to an artistic totality that’s nothing less than visionary.