Queen of the Box Office

Definition of a Toy is the physical record of a quintet—Dylan van der Schyff (drums), Michael Moore (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone), Brad Turner (trumpet), Achim Kaufmann (piano), Mark Helias (double bass)—that came together to mix up the brainpower of the composers involved. Set up by van der Schyff, each man brought a composition to the table, or shares billing on a track. Though each carries its own character, of course, I really could have selected any one of the tracks they’ve created together and gotten the point across. The disc is cohesive enough to feel like a whole experience, but the various authors keep the ear moving. In the end, I settled on the sultry Queen of the Box Office credited to Turner. Maybe it’s just the title planting thoughts in my head of sequins and cigarette smoke, but it works.


—MS