Tag Archives: Christopher Tordini

Jazz.pt review by José Pessoa

CF 257Igor Lumpert Trio – Innertextures Live (CF 257)
Classificação: 4,5/5
Este disco registado pela Clean Feed na edição de 2011 do Festival de Jazz de Ljubljana segue-se a uma primeira investida do projecto Innertextures de Igor Lumpert, publicada em 2001 pela Goga Music com as colaborações de Robert Glasper, Boris Kozlov, Leron Thomas, Jacob Bro e Jonathan Blake.
O jovem saxofonista e compositor Igor Lumpert nasceu em Novo Mesto, na Eslovénia. Fez a sua formação musical no Conservatório Bruckner, em Linz, na Áustria. Durante esse período tocou no grupo alemão Sidewinders, baseado em Munique. Depois, foi convidado a estudar na New School de Nova Iorque pelo contrabaixista Reggie Workman, para onde foi no Outono de 2000 com uma bolsa de estudos. Na Big Apple estudou e tocou com George Garzone, Chico Hamilton, Billy Harper e muitos outros.
A música de Lumpert representa uma fusão única de jazz, funk, ritmos do Leste europeu e esboços neo-bop. Tocou já com várias lendas do jazz, incluindo John Abercrombie, Sonny Simmons, Boris Kozlov, e Andy McKee. Neste álbum encontramo-lo na companhia de Nasheet Waits e Christopher Tordinijem. Waits é um baterista enérgico e de grande densidade, sempre procurando uma divergência com os restantes músicos, construída em torno de “loops” rítmicos e pela criação de camadas multidimensionais. Tordinijem pratica um baixo melodicamente coerente e articulado, pleno de nuances e frequente inspirador de um “groove” forte que nos faz bater o pé, ligando-se maravilhosamente à percussão de Waits.
Em duas palavras dizemos tudo o que aqui realizam: sofisticação e eficiência.
O que faz a música deste projecto tão interessante é a sua complexidade. Com o jogo e a fluidez evidenciados nestas peças, o trio transmite-nos uma ideia consequente de absorção das tradições do jazz, acrescentando algo de novo e ímpar. Esta é uma música criada democraticamente, permitindo ao ouvinte abandonar-se à fruição total ou a uma focagem clara sobre algum dos trabalhos individuais. As faixas de que mais gosto são a balanceada, mas exigente, “Still Dreamimg” e a subtil e poética “This is for Billie Holliday”.

Le Son du Grisli review by Luc Bouquet

CF 257Igor Lumpert – Innertextures Live (CF 257)
De ce jazz sans tension(s) et sans émoi(s), on ne raffole pas. Parce que trop précautionneux, parce que refusant la périphérie et parce que plafonnant en des motifs monotones, l’oreille s’évade. Reconnaissons néanmoins au saxophoniste ténor slovène Igor Lumpert une délicatesse non feinte et une sensibilité idéale quand s’invite la ballade (Sea Whispers, This Is for Billie Holiday). Sans brusquerie, contrebassiste (Christhopher Tordini) et batteur (Nasheet Waits) assistent le saxophoniste dans sa quête de douce prudence. Mais sans danger, où est le salut ?

JazzWrap review by Stephan Moore

Igor Lumpert / Martin Kuchen

Innertextures Live (CF 257)
Trespass Trio – Bruder Beda (CF 251)
Two divergent releases from Portuguese label, Clean Feed, filled my listening over the last few days. And they are both worth checking out for different reasons.

Born in Slovenia but raised on the diverse traditions of both American and European Jazz, Igor Lumpert has a style that is both relaxed and complex. His training and performing with the likes of Reggie Workman, Buster Williams and Chico Hamilton to name a few probably has a lot to do it. But on Innertextures Live, Lumpert’s third release as leader, he begins to shape his voice, vision and destiny.

Innertextures seems to be a revolving cast of musicians that each delicately and diversely interprets Lumpert’s richly molded compositions. This approach reminds me of a less cerebral approach to Chicago Underground, led by Rob Manzrek. But here, Lumpert is more concerned with taking the listener on a journey of colourful expressions and hard bop tonality.

“Still Dreaming” gets things off to delightful start. Tordini’s slow infectious bassline is wrapped tightly by the always exciting Waits kit. Lumpert throws bold and muscular notes that intersect at various points with his bandmates but shows that this live outing is going modern but with a few twist and turns. “Perug” rips along in furious succession. Tordini and Waits are giving space to create some nice, big solos with lots of creative pace. Lumpert’s fury throughout this piece felt like mid-period Coltrane.

Lumpert shows great skill and beauty on “This Is For Billy Holiday.” A lovely ballad with poise and passion. It’s heavy and introspective but filled with Lumpert taking a delicate and exact approach. This piece really shows the diversity in his performance and compositions on Innertextures Live.

Remaining introspective but moving almost completely in the opposite direction, Swedish reedman, Martin Kuchen returns with a set from his Trespass Trio. Molded and wrapped in more layers than the previous two sessions with this trio, Kuchen explores more personal family history (which he has done in recent years). This time about his relative who was a World War I Jewish German veteran who later became a Monk. A passionate and intense celebration can be felt throughout the trio debut, Bruder Beda (named for the relative).

There is a deep sense of solitude from the piece “Don’t Ruin Me.” Per Zanusi and Raymond Strid provide a Jewish heritage backdrop with their steady notes and rhythm. This allows Kuchen to stretch and create a dialogue that tells the story smoothly but with thick texture. “Todays Better Than Tomorrow” feels like a suite. The opening movement is a rich cavalcade of emotions led by Kuchen. This moves effortlessly into quiet, atmospheric tones which Strid does a good majority of the improvising. The final movement sees the trio rejoining its original themes with a harder edge and then gently taking the listener downward to fade out.

The blistering “A Different Koko” and the third outtake of “Ein Krieg In Einem Kind” both present Kuchen’s ability to scale the heights of free form expression but also still maintain a sense of inner depth. That density is something even the non-familiar Kuchen listener can be drawn to. Kuchen’s lyricism envelops you by the end of this emotional journey. Very exciting work.

Igor Lumpert’s Innertextures Live is a wonderful work of romanticism and hard bop that is slightly not what you expect from the avant garde jazz label. Marting Kuchen again shows that he is one of the talented and well-sought after musicians on the European scene with Bruder Beda. With two ends of the spectrum represented – one with a modern approach, the other more spiritual and thought-provoking. You would do well to experience both of these great saxophonists. Highly Recommended and richly enjoyable.

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Igor Lumpert Trio – Innertextures Live (CF 257)
Igor Lumpert’s well-conceived tenor improvisations, Christhopher Tordini’s virtuoso bass anchorage and Nasheet Wait’s fire-y and accomplished drum statements are on full display for their live at the 52nd Ljubljana Jazz Festival set in 2011, recorded and released as Innertextures Live (Clean Feed 257).   It’s first-rate post-bop, seven Lumpert blowing vehicles that give the set a very contemporary slant. The three are most definitely inspired to do their best, a swinging, forward lurching six-legged improvisational creature of delight.   Tordini and Waits meld into classic tight-loose propulsiveness and stay there throughout. Igor lets loose with inspired improvisations that show influences as diverse as Rollins and Rivers, yet grounded in pure Lumpert.   It’s a hell of a nice go. Happy surprise! Good listening.

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

Igor Lumpert Trio: Innertextures Live (CF 257)
Slovenia-reared tenor saxophonist Igor Lumpert hurdles and leaps onto the progressive jazz radar with his inaugural solo effort for Portugal’s highly respected and progressive record label, Clean Feed Records. This live release, featuring a prominent New York City-based rhythm section, highlights the leader’s sophisticated outgrowths via the bustling frameworks, often designed with ascending cadences, brisk bop vamps, subtle explorations and linear progressions. With all-universe drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Christopher Tordini often providing volcanic support, Lumpert gets a lot of mileage out of the core jazz trio format.

Kinetic energy amid capacious hues and shades, meld with ballsy stylizations throughout. On “Open The Safe,” Lumpert conveys a host of intricacies with odd-metered rhythmic pacing and mesmeric variances in pitch. Cohesive, yet full of split-second surprises, the artist injects cunningly deceptive tactics. The band segues into hyper-mode bop, where the saxophonist takes his time building a new theme, yielding a bit of food for thought, as Tordini tempers the flow with a searching solo and takes matters down to a near whisper. The trio closes the piece with the complex primary motif, while producing the maximum level of entertainment along the way. Indeed, Lumpert communicates guile, patience, a broad jazz vernacular and a crafty sense of the dynamic.

Musica Jazz review by Civeli

MICHAEL DESSEN TRIO – Forget The Pixel (CF 222)
Un po’ come Steve Lehman, Vijay Iyer, Jason Robinson e il suo mentore George Lewis, Dessen ès os pesotra pratica concertis ti caericerca accademica (alcunisuoi scritti sono in mdessen.com/, sezionewriting), sufficientemente colto e preparato da evitare che la dimensione acustica confini quela elettronica a mero abbeli-mento o vice versa. Questo cd prosegue con coerenza il lavoro cominciato con «Between Shadow And Space». Al posto di Tyshawn Sorey c’è l’altrettanto valido (e richiestissimo) Weiss, ricercatore timbrico nei branipiùlenti. La musica, non dele più accessibili, contempla gorgogli elettronici, suoni dettagliatissimi e tensioni silenziose, dove tutti, specialmente un ispirato e determinante Tordini, danno il meglio di sé.Per visualizzare e ascoltare alcune porzioni del brano eponimo, figlio di una partitura chemischia semiografia contemporanea es egnal etiche ala Braxton, sicerchisu Youtube «Michael Dessen Trio Forget The Pixel Score/Excerpt».

The New York City Jazz Record by Stuart Broomer

Michael Dessen Trio – Forget the Pixel (CF 222)
Michael Dessen is a California-based trombonist, a former member of/composer for the memorable band Cosmologic and a frequent colleague of bassist Mark Dresser. At one time a student of George Lewis, Dessen appropriately combines brilliant trombone skills with interests in electronics and novel compositional strategies. His trio includes bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Dan Weiss and he describes Forget the Pixel as an “hour-long cycle of music designed for this trio to perform in a single, continuous set. ”The end result is a remarkable achievement. If the timbral possibilities of a trombone-bass-drum band might seem limited, Dessen varies things with electronics and the trio maintains constant interest through a multi-leveled interaction of compositional methodologies, collective improvisation and polyrhythmic exploration. There are multiple senses of movement and development going on at once in this music, as it makes its way from the furious swing, jazzy bluster and electronics of the opening “Fossils and Flows” to the serene conclusion of “The Utopian Sense of Green”, in which the players summon up all the calm and grace of a Japanese garden. Along the way, the music repeatedly finds original dimensions, as in the elongated dialogue of “Three Sepals”, a piece that is born in Dessen’s sweetly traditional legato trombone then gradually opens into a field in which first Tordini, then the others seem to beetching the barest rhythmic and melodic materials on silence. A similarly broad canvas on the title track becomes a series of micro-explosions and dislocations: Dessen’s opening vocalic explosion gradually accumulates an electronic self-commentary; there are passages of pointillist scattershot bass and a long trio sequence in which Weiss’ snare drum seems to tie together the group’s multiple rhythms in a compact bundle. It’s fascinating work by an exceptional group of musicians, at times combining the cheery openness of song with a sense of underlying tectonic mystery.

JazzWord review by Ken Waxman

Michael Dessen Trio – Forget the Pixel (CF 222)
Joe Fiedler Trio – Sacred Chrome Orb (Yellow Sound Music)
Perhaps there’s more than a kernel of truth in those clichés about energetic New Yorkers and laid-back Californians. How else could one explain the massive variance between performances on these discs, each featuring a bassist, a drummer and a trombonist-leader playing original compositions by the brass man? In a way it’s a difference between lively and listless.

It’s not that Forget the Pixel is that enervated. It’s just that a certain sameness seems to permeate the seven compositions by trombonist Michael Dessen. Dessen, an academic with an interest in new technologies as well as telematic performances in multiple locations, adds computer wave forms to this disc in order to enhance the low-key proceedings. The results curve and undulate nicely, but not enough to alter the air of lethargic moderation that permeates the disc. Besides some rapid capillary movements from Dessen in the JJ Johnson lineage however, the most affecting overall performance is the title track. Here at least brushes-directed ruffs and bounces, spelled with an occasional martial beat, from drummer Dan Weiss, coupled with speedy stops as well as sul ponticello slides from bassist Christopher Tordini provide back-up for the trombonist’s slurs, puffs and squeezes.

Weiss, who has worked with saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, and the bassist, who has played with saxophonist Greg Osby, have established their dependability in the past. Meanwhile Dessen, who has been part of the West Coast-based Cosmological band with saxophonist Jason Robinson and others, has similarly demonstrated his musical skills elsewhere. Maybe a concentration on performances over the internet with players in different locations has dulled his live presentation.

Moving eastward, there’s certainly no hesitation on Sacred Chrome Orb as the trio handles 15 compositions by trombonist Joe Fiedler. An adaptor of the multiphonics pioneered by German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, Fiedler has worked in the bands of multi-reedist Anthony Braxton, pianist Satoko Fujii and even pop star Jennifer Lopez. The third CD by this trio, the band is filled out by bassist John Hébert, who has worked with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; and drummer Michael Sarin, first call percussionist for bands ranging from those led by bassist Mark Helias’ to saxophonist Tim Berne.

Throughout Sarin’s percussion smarts allow him to vary his beat so that at points it sounds as if he’s whopping a conga drum and elsewhere as if he playing patterns on a dumbek. The later is especially apparent on “Ethiopia”, influenced by pop singer from that African country, which is also enlivened with the drummer’s tick-tock rim shot and cymbal colors, as the trombonist blasts out tremolo grace notes and blurry cross tones.

Hébert shows out his guitar-like facility on “Next Phase” accompanying a guttural, double-tongued line from Fiedler. Meanwhile “Two Kooks” demonstrates how extended brass techniques including splintered and splayed slide positions and decorated grace notes can swing alongside a heavy backbeat. The thematic line is extended still further by Fiedler on “Chicken”, with rubato slurs and triple-tongued fluttering shading the lively performance. As Sarin clip-clops and rebounds, and Hébert holds down the rhythmic bottom, the trombonist elongates and shortens his breaths for melodic invention.

One would figure in different circumstances – was there a jet-lag drawback in this Lisbon-recorded disc for instance? – that Dessen’s three would put in a less time-marking performance. As these CDs stack up though, the session from the Easterners is definitely more appealing than the one from the West Coasters.

Downbeat review by Bill Meyer

Michael Dessen trio – Forget the Pixel (CF 222)
Trombonists were jazz’s original electronicists. While they’ve shared the responsibility for creating sound effects with trumpeters—the Duke Ellington Orchestra had Bubber Miley as well as Tricky Sam Nanton—what acoustic instrument better provides volume, brightness, malleability and purely sensual sound? George Lewis has played slide trombone and electronics with equal facility, and his former student Michael Dessen makes the two instruments work as one on Forget The Pixel. Dessen switches between voluptuous lyricism and digitally distorted splatter, and his shifts between those poles never feel forced or arbitrary. This is the trio’s second album, and it sounds like the work of a gigging band. How much of this work took place with all three men in the same room is open to conjecture. Dessen lives and teaches in Irvine, Calif., a continent away from his New York-based confederates, but he is a pioneer in telematics, the practice of long-distance, real-time collaboration. But whether their chemistry was forged with the assistance of bandwidth or frequent flyer miles, it’s real. You can hear it in the way Christopher Tordini’s figures sway and give under the influence of Dan Weiss’s martial snare beats on “Licensed Unoperators (For Lisle).” It’s also evident on “Herdiphany,” where they supply stop-start responses to the pitch-shifted squiggles that Dessen pokes their way like some cartoon rabbit sticking out his impossibly elongated tongue at hunters who are both his dogged nemeses and closest associates. These guys don’t just play together—they’re playing. This playfulness, as much as their fluid negotiations of Dessen’s jagged rhythms and elaborate melodies, is the spoonful of sugar that make these rigorous improvisations go down easy.

All About Jazz Italy review by Vincenzo Roggero

Michael Dessen Trio – Forget the Pixel (CF 222)
Valutazione: 3.5 stelle

I brani sono sette ma l’ora di musica contenuta in Forget the Pixel (bel titolo preso dalla prima riga del poema di Phillis Levin “Open Field”) può essere vista come un’unica suite, concepita già all’origine per una esibizione senza interruzioni del trio. Il trio, per l’appunto, ma dovremmo parlare di quartetto perché l’elettronica utilizzata dal leader, il trombonista Michael Dessen, è a tutti gli effetti il quarto strumento utilizzato per la registrazione.
Già da diversi anni studioso degli sviluppi nell’uso di computer, live processing e sampling come pratica improvvisativa e soprattutto di sue possibili formalizzazioni in modelli, Dessen utilizza l’elettronica non in senso coloristico ma come paritario interlocutore delle libere improvvisazioni. Così che, anche la sua assenza o i momenti di minimo utilizzo, incidono profondamente sulla registrazione che è una sorta di manuale non scritto sull’interazione tra scrittura e improvvisazione.

Vi è inoltre un lavoro sulle scomposizioni ritmiche, sullo sviluppo di cellule melodiche e su di una concezione avventurosa della fluidità espressiva che risulta notevole anche grazie all’apporto di due grandi musicisti come il percussionista Dan Weiss (assai noto anche dalle nostre parti) e il contrabbassista Chris Tordini (meno noto ma altrettanto rimarchevole). L’approccio strumentale e improvvisativo di Dessen è molto personale, ricorda alcune cose sperimentali di George Lewis con una maggior propensione ad inglobare elementi di musica colta europea e contemporanea.

Complessivamente Forget the Pixel, nonostante qualche momento un po’ dispersivo, è un ottimo esempio di musica avventurosa e pienamente accessibile.