вторник, 22 марта 2011 г.

Endangered Blood - Endangered Blood (2011)

Endangered Blood - Endangered Blood (Skirl, 2011)

Chris Speed - tenor saxophone
Oscar Noriega - alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Trevor Dunn - bass
Jim Black - drums

01 - Plunge
02 - Rare
03 - Epistrophy
04 - Elvin Lisbon
05 - K
06 - Tacos At Oscars
07 - Iris
08 - Uri Bird
09 - Valva
10 - Andrew's Ditty Variation One

Endangered Blood formed in 2008, to play a benefit concert to help pay for fellow musician Andrew D'Angelo's medical bills. For the performance, drummer Jim Black and bassist Trevor Dunn—two of the saxophonist's band mates—enlisted saxophonists Chris Speed and Oscar Noriega. As happens so often in modern groups, familiar players in different combination produce compelling results.

Black and Speed are both veterans of Tim Berne's vanguard band, Bloodcount, as well as Human Feel, Pachora, Yeah No and Alas No Axis. Dunn has been a member of Mr. Bungle and bands led by John Zorn, while Noriega is one of Berne's latest finds, and a longtime collaborator with Satoko Fujii.

The quartet's brief and intense tribute to D'Angelo, "Andrew's Ditty Variation One," begins with a two-horn lockstep sprint that quickly evolves into a time-shifting squawk-fest. With Black bashing out a barrage of beats, the two horns mimic D'Angelo's infamous raging sound that is often performed onstage, wriggling on his back.

But the disc is not at all about camp. The quartet draws together its many influences, from Eastern European to alt-rock, to push the boundaries of performance jazz. Speed is credited with the writing here, but he draws not only from his writing with The Clarinets and Human Feel, but his work in Black's Alas No Axis and drummer John Hollenbeck's The Claudia Quintet.

With Noriega doubling on bass clarinet, Speed is able to enlarge the sound on "Rare," and present Thelonious Monk's "Epistrophy" with a much darker tone, as if played by men in over-sized wool coats lifting heavy objects. "Tacos At Oscars" swirls some Philip Glass-style unison horns around Black's frenetic drumming. This recording's purpose becomes clear, however, on tracks like "Uri Bird," which melds funk and bebop, or "Iris," a New Orleans blues outfitted with an old-school sawed bass and parading horns.

Endangered Blood signals a sort of watershed in the evolution of creative music that was once called jazz. The dust has cleared, and what's left is an idiosyncratic and very entertaining sound. [allaboutjazz]

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понедельник, 21 марта 2011 г.

Aram Shelton's Arrive - There Was (2011)

Aram Shelton's Arrive - There Was (Clean Feed, 2011)

Aram Shelton - alto saxophone
Jason Adasiewicz - vibraphone
Jason Roebke - double bass
Tim Daisy - drums

1. There was...
2. Cradle
3. Lost
4. Fifteen
5. Frosted
6. Golden

There aren't many musicians tied to more than one musical scene, but Aram Shelton is one of those rare examples.Both the Chicago and the Bay Area avant-jazz and free improv circuits benefit from this horn player who improvises with a composing perspective and composes to serve collective improvisation. Arrive, which dates back to 2001, is one of Aram's Chicago bands, and you can sense the connections with this city's jazz and experimental traditions, including the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. His individual alto saxophone style makes us think of the early music played by Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton: it's bitter and argumentative, but also ascetic, expressionist, with a sense of measure. Aram Shelton's parallel interest for electroacoustic music isn't strange to this approach. His partners in "There Was..." are the right ones for such an "in-between" focus. Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz is an exquisite colorist, but also a master in what concerns intensity and balance.With his double bass, Jason Roebke is a secure time-keeper and a trustable space-organizer, even when he puts the "center" way out there. Tim Daisy is the kind of drummer indispensable when a band needs to keep the motor running and simultaneously to be free from strict pulses. What an astonishing quartet we find here, indeed... [Clean Feed]

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Nate Wooley Quintet - (Put Your) Hands Together (2011)

Nate Wooley Quintet - (Put Your) Hands Together (Cleen Feed, 2011)

Nate Wooley - trumpet
Josh Sinton - bass clarinet
Matt Moran - vibraphone
Eivind Opsvik - double bass
Harris Eisenstadt - drums

01. Shanda Lea 1 (3:33)
02. Hands Together (9:49)
03. Erna (4:06)
04. Shanda Lea 2(2:58)
05. Ethyl (5:20)
06. Cecelia (9:05)
07. Pearl (2:16)
08. Elsa (5:51)
09. Hazel (3:45)
10. Shanda Lea 3(4:01)

For the first time in many years, Nate Wooley releases an album with composed music, with an actual band, and with music that is more accessible than any of the records made under his leadership. The band is Josh Stinton on bass clarinet, Matt Moran on vibes, Eivind Opsvik on bass and Harris Eisenstadt on drums .... indeed the musicians who play regularly together in each other's bands and with equal success.

In stark contrast of some of his previous albums, Wooley's trumpet tone is voiced, deeply sensitive but within the same phrase he can switch it into screeching whispers. The compositions integrate jazz history, but then in a reverend and playful way, gently giving new dynamics and dimensions to the familiar forms, lifting them up, dusting them off, refreshing them with new power and creative angles.

The end result is a carefully crafted, fun album, with moments of playfulness ("Elsa"), deep sentiments ("Hazel"), compositional complexity ("Ethyl") or all in one ("Hands Together"). The most beautiful piece is "Shanda Lea" (Wooley's wife?), opening the album with solo trumpet, repeated halfway the record in duet with Stinton, then again as solo trumpet to end the album. On tracks like "Erna" you can hear the warm voice of Ron Miles seep through, but unlike Miles, Wooley adds some odd raw edges and in doing so also more depth in the delivery.

In short, a heart-warming and inventive album, show-casing a fantastic musician and an artist in full development. No need to praise the rest of the band: you know them already: they're among the best you can get these days, and to Wooley's credit, he leaves them lots of space. [Free Jazz]

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