Thursday, March 23, 2017
Sometimes these folks remind me a little of the classic Jarrett group that included Dewey, Haden and Motian--for the sort of kinetically open and unpredictable approach they espouse.
And the more you hear this, the more it jumps out at you. Recommended!
Monday, March 20, 2017
Today is no exception--here the composer-percussionist presents to us the fascinating work Autonomic (Prefecture 015). As we have come to expect, Paul shows us a heightened sensitivity to aural timbre and a pronounced ambiance that conveys a spiritual cosmos and a strong sense of direction. We hear the composition/suite "Autonomic" in this light, surely.
The work is comprised of four movements that feature three winds, cello, contrabass and percussion (the latter played by Kikuchi).
There is a composed-performative immediacy to the work, apparently based on specific motivic-interval cells that structure each movement, which in turn portrays an inner experience of each successive event-aspect of a deep breathing moment.
The total effect of the music is a pronounced timbral mysticism, an encompassment of movement and stasis in the bodily cycle of respiration, a musical analogue of an inner state, suggesting in aural terms its inner workings.
It is very meditative, very beautiful, very strongly evocative music that expands Kikuchi's universe of possibilities and at the same time is a fully immersive, stunning work.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Complete freedom and vivid aural imagination are the rules of the day on this set of ten segments. Whit made his name as the creative drummer with David W. Ware's ensemble and then Matt Shipp's trio, as well as lively dates as a leader. He is back and sounds as good as ever here. Kirk Knuffke has come to the forefront of the avant jazz world, especially in the last decade, making beautiful music with bassist-bandleader Michael Bisio among many others.
I've said this before on these pages but it bears repeating: Kirk manages to channel the history of jazz in his playing through a very classic tone, the poise of immaculately idiomatic phrasing and a creative ability that means he can be counted upon to come up with ever fresh, good ideas. That's very true on Fierce Silence.
Whit is a drummer and musical dynamo that takes the early freedom of Milford Graves and Sunny Murray and applies his own personal way to it all, building out of New York free school drum ideas and going beyond.
This album marks a very fruitful frisson of two well seasoned avant vets. There is not a note wasted. Every one counts. And the sum total of every note is some free music of the highest caliber.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Kimbrough is a studied and brilliant exponent of the jazz piano school that loosely groups around Bill Evans, Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett. He for a long time has taken control of his artistic destiny to be solidly on original turf and indeed, this trio finds him take on each tune with a brilliantly introspective presence.
Bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jeff Hirschfield are open and inventive counterparts to Frank's improvisational extensions. They do all the right things to bring out the implications of the leader and what he is doing, adding their completely apposite selves.
This is a landmark in Frank's recorded output to date. It is ravishing All modern piano trio fans will find this one hard to resist, I'll warrant!
Thursday, March 9, 2017
They are game players and the originals by Chico, Tiago, Edu. Bruno, and Felipe have a well constructed presence that sets the band apart as a formidable vehicle for modern contemporary jazz.
Chico, Felipe and Tiago give us a front line that contributes very good solos. The rhythm section cooks with excellent Latin and straight-ahead grooves.
This is seriously good modern jazz!
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
It is a program of known and slightly lesser-known compositions by Charles Mingus and Gerry Mulligen, both of course known for their brilliance in scoring their own work for various sized ensembles and so a challenge to someone who seeks to do contrasting arrangements. That Mark Masters succeeds admirably is a testament to his considerable talent.
The band is a very capable 7-tet. Gary Foster is a most welcome presence on alto, especially since he does not appear on as many sessions these days as one would like. But then we get some beautiful players in Jerry Pinter on tenor and soprano and either Gene Cipriano on tenor and Adam Schroeder on baritone or Ron Stout on trumpet and Les Benedict on trombone--the aforementioned alternate presences is divided more or less evenly on the program. Then there is Ed Czach on piano, Putter Smith on a very out-front bass, and Kendall Kay on drums.
There is a tight clean sound that seems a present-day rethinking of "Birth of the Cool" or perhaps a little of the "Four Brothers" sound. And that totally fits in with the outlook of these compositional gems.
We get Mingus's "Monk. Bunk and Vice Versa," "So Long Eric," "Peggy's Blue Skylight," "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love," and "Eclipse," all well worth a fresh set of arrangements, to say the least.
Mulligen comes to the fore with new arrangements of "Out Back of the Barn," "Wallflower," "Strayhorn 2," "Apple Core," "Birds of a Feather," and "Motel."
The combination of arrangements and solos is well balanced. The compositions sing to us again with Mark Masters' singular ways.
This is music that makes ME happy. I do strongly suggest you hear this one. You'll be happy with it too, I would bet.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Pascal Niggenkemper joins Godet on doublebass and objects; the trio is made complete with the presence of Sylvain Darrifourcq on drums, percussion and zither.
There is movement and development going on throughout, beginning with "No Border," with concrete and enhanced sounds that begin sparsely and ambiantly, then traverse gradually into expressively free territory with some wailing clarinet, arco bass and a wash of tone-noise of unspecified provenence. Sylvain enters with a series of irregular tatoos and we are off to parts unknown. The segment continues on with the periodistic insistence and regular-irregularity of free jazz, then segues into "No Logo" with a three-way contrapuntal dialog of clarinet, bass and drums which has even more jazz-speech inflections than what we have heard in the opening.
"No God" opens up the space further with some ruminating drum statements and ambient noises--jagged stutters that open another sound world that tumbles forward into our listening minds. Godet's incantatory clarinet emerges with some performative testifying while Niggenkemper's prepared bowing and Sylvain's drumming fall into the expressive zone once again. It continues in free roll while the bass punctuates more emphatically with pizzicato pluck-shouting. Clarinet and drums respond with their own soul calls, earthy epithets and emotive figurations. Things eventually grow quiet and end in some bluesy phrasings.
"No Fear" begins in silence, then creates a ritualized series of overlapping sequences on an altered zither, bass clarnet long tones, and arpeggiating pizzo-harmonics. It channels yet another intriguing aural space into our listening selves.
And so it goes, a fascinating set on an inspired night. This is music you need to allow into your head. It needs you to actively collaborate with it in order to make its expression clear. But then it rewards with something worthwhile, border-crossings that we do not want to prevent by building a wall. No wall!!