Tag Archives: Tim Daisy

Free Jazz review by Martin Schray

PrintMade To Break: Lacerba (CF 274)
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“Lacerba” was the name of an Italian literary magazine that wanted to spread the ideas of futurism, a movement emphasizing and glorifying issues associated with concepts concerning the future – including technological progress, youth and violence. The most famous authors were Giovanni Papini and Ardengo Soffici but Tommaso Marinetti, Pablo Picasso, Guillaume Apollinaire and Stéphane Mallarmé were also among the contributors. Futurist music claimed to reject tradition and introduced experimental sounds inspired by machinery, it was mainly set against backwardness and mediocrity. One of the most prominent figures, Luigi Russolo, published The Art of Noises which became something like a guideline for the musical aesthetics of the movement. Russolo defined instruments as acoustic noise generators so that he can pay homage to, include or imitate machines – his ideas influenced Stravinsky, Edgar Varèse, Stockhausen and John Cage.

Ken Vandermark (reeds) has a profound knowledge of classical music (he studied with Morton Feldman) and although he does not completely reject tradition his new project Made to Break pays tribute to the futurist era not only because electronic noise plays an important role in the band context, which features Christof Kurzmann (electronics), Devin Hoff (e-bass) and Tim Daisy (drums).

Like classical futurist music the first track, “Vita Futurista (for Dick Raaijmakers)”, imitates technology, a dark baritone saxophone sound reminds of a foghorn before the real machine sets in: Kurzmann’s electronics sound like a limbo created by Edgar Allen Poe, there are static loops, a pulsing and scraping that gives you the creeps in a very subtle way. But futurism is not only about darkness, and after four minutes, when the bass turns in playing a super groovy Michael-Henderson-riff and Vandermark slaps out a soulful theme, the band has transformed into a 1980 New York No Jazz group – raw, funky, straight, hardcore. And just when you get used to it, the band makes another U-turn and after 17 minutes – out of the blue – they devote themselves to absolute beauty. The structure of the “Pursuit (for Alberto Giacometti)”, the second track of the album, is similar to the first one. It starts with a very lyrical passage which is close to chamber music before it turns into something completely different. Vandermark’s alto is close to the pain barrier and only Hoff’s electric bass brings him back to solidly grounded jazz rock. Hoff is the driving force in this track anyway, the copula between the different parts.

“Lacerba” is futurist in a postmodernist sense, it uses different elements of jazz history and combines it to something new.
http://www.freejazzblog.org/

Jazz.pt review by Nuno Catarino

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOMade to Break – Provoke (CF 273)
Por esta altura, o enorme vigor criativo de Ken Vandermark já não deverá surpreender ninguém. O saxofonista (e clarinetista) de Chicago apresenta agora um novo projecto que combina a improvisação de ascendência jazzística com a electricidade e a electrónica. Gravado em Lisboa, este é o segundo álbum que Vandermark gravou em Portugal – o primeiro foi o brilhante “4 Corners”.   Vandermark carrega aos ombros o peso de ser um dos mais vitais músicos do jazz contemporâneo, nome fundamental dos últimos 20 anos como instrumentista, compositor e improvisador. Neste grupo a improvisação é o eixo central, mas acrescenta-se uma boa dose de funk (género que tem presença regular no trabalho do palhetista, especialmente no grupo Spaceways Inc.).   Além destas matrizes principais, nas “liner notes” Vandermark assume que, nos últimos tempos, tem tido especial interesse pelo pós-punk (The Fall, Wire) e pela música da Etiópia, influências que, de forma mais indirecta, contribuíram para a música que se ouve neste “Provoke”.   Ao sopro de Vandermark juntam-se três instrumentistas numa formação inusitada: baixo eléctrico, bateria e electrónica. A escolha de um baixo não surgiu por acaso: David Hoff trabalha um “groove” contínuo, um som robusto que funciona como esteio do quarteto. Tim Daisy, parceiro habitual do líder desta banda, mantém a bateria acesa.   Christof Kurzmann é o “joker”, uma carta inesperada que acrescenta uma vertente mais próxima da típica electroacústica. Os “loops” de Kurzmann acrescentam toda uma nova dimensão às dinâmicas criadas pelos outros instrumentos, funcionando por vezes em choque, mas quase sempre lançando pistas que levam a música a avançar por novos caminhos.   É como que o agente provocador, confirmando que um pouco de provocação só faz bem.
http://www.jazz.pt/ponto-escuta/2013/04/06/made-break-provoke-clean-feed/

Jazz.pt review by Gonçalo Falcão

PrintMade to Break – Lacerba (CF 274)
Classificação: 4,5/5

Com quase trezentos CDs editados em 12 anos, a Clean Feed lança agora o seu primeiro LP. E porque o primeiro de alguma coisa é sempre um momento especial, trata-se do registo em Lisboa de um grupo inédito de Ken Vandermark, Made to Break, com Christoff Kurzmann, Devin Hoff e Tim Daisy. Foram três dias de concertos gravados por João Serigado, dos quais se seleccionaram os melhores minutos para prensar dois discos: o CD “Provoke”, já lançado, e agora o LP “Lacerba”.
A novidade no som é grande, sendo claramente um disco vandermarkiano. O grupo parece seguir as pisadas de Spaceways Inc., o grupo mais “funky” do saxofonista, mas as personalidades dos instrumentistas e a utilização de composições abertas fazem a música inclinar-se para direcções mais abstractas: se numa pintura é fácil apercebermo-nos da sua estrutura – pois ela apresenta-se inteira aos nossos olhos e identificamos padrões, áreas, formas de organização –, na música essa percepção é muito mais difícil, pois ela desenrola-se no tempo e nem sempre conseguimos perceber o sentido e a organização dos sons.   Vandermark tenta resolver este problema criando pontes de ligação com o ouvinte: no meio de uma enorme liberdade aparecem linhas de baixo, “grooves” que nos ajudam a simpatizar com a música, a entrar no tema e a construir pontos de contacto. Em suma, a arranjar elementos que reconheçamos e com os quais nos possamos envolver. O que ouvimos é a procura de um compositor para criar novos caminhos para o jazz, novas formas de o fazer funcionar, mantendo-o disfuncional.
A prensagem em vinil está boa e tem um bom som, mas a capa merecia (pelo menos) um cartão com maior gramagem. Quem compra discos de vinil fá-lo por três razões: porque acredita que o som do vinil é melhor que o do CD (o que nestes discos ao vivo é difícil de avaliar), porque valoriza o objecto (a dimensão visual e táctil do vinil faz com que este contentor para os sons seja muito mais afectuoso do que o CD) ou ambas.
Esta forma de usar a composição e a improvisação para estruturar a música faz parte de uma procura de futuros para o jazz. Esse sentimento revolucionário está patente em todos os aspectos do disco, desde o formato de reprodução aos títulos (Lacerba era a revista futurista italiana de Aldo Palazzeschi e Italo Tavolato, impressa a preto e vermelho).
O lado A, chamado “Vita Futurista”, é dedicado a DickRaaijmakers, compositor e dramaturgo holandês nascido em 1930, e o lado B, “Pursuit”, é uma homenagem ao escultor suíço Alberto Giacometti. Imperdível.
http://www.jazz.pt/ponto-escuta/2013/04/06/made-break-lacerba-clean-feed/

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Downbeat review by Peter Margasak

Made to Break

JazzGram review by Alain Drouot

ARAM SHELTON’S ARRIVE – THERE WAS…(CF 217)
Originally from Florida, saxophonist/clarinetist Aram Shelton spent a few years in Chicago before leaving for Oakland in 2005. However, he never severed his ties and Arrive is one of several projects he has put together with former colleagues since his departure. Joining him in this venture are Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone, Jason Roebke on bass, and Tim Daisy on drums. Adasiewicz’s instrument provides a unique atmosphere. Although he gets enough room to stretch, it is his role as a colorist that is most striking. He also creates a deceptively relaxed mood that tends to hide a real sense of purpose and freedom. As the main soloist, Shelton, who sticks to the alto sax throughout, alternates between graceful and jagged lines and carefully articulates his ideas, avoiding any ostentatious display. Shelton’s six compositions are constantly moving forward thanks to Roebke’s acute sense of pace and Daisy’s effective drive and swing. They are also steeped in the finest tradition of creative jazz. Finally, There Was… benefits greatly from the rapport the musicians developed during the tour that preceded the recording session.
http://www.letterform.net/files/jazzgram/Jazzgram-Mar-2012.pdf

All About Jazz Italy review by Gigi Sabelli

Arrive – There Was…  (CF 217)
Valutazione: 4.5 stelle
Che la separazione tra nuovo e vecchio nel jazz rischi di far prendere abbagli ce lo insegna a suo modo anche questo bel disco, registrato da un quartetto i cui componenti dovrebbero fornire di per sé sufficienti garanzie all’ascoltatore più accorto e aggiornato.

Shelton è uno dei protagonisti assoluti del jazz chicagoano degli ultimi tempi, Adasiewicz è tra i musicisti più intelligenti dell’ultima generazione, come si capisce dalle sue collaborazioni con Mazurek o dall’accurata intervista che gli ha fatto recentemente Luca Canini per AllAboutJazz; Roebke lo abbiamo ascoltato in Italia con il gruppo di Mike Reed e Daisy suona regolarmente con Ken Vandermark.

There Was…, registrato nell’agosto del 2008 a Chicago (in uno studio in cui si era drammaticamente rotta l’aria condizionata), al termine di un tour statunitense, immortala un gruppo in cui l’attenzione per la forma e la struttura è associata ad un altrettanto valida considerazione per il suono.
In tutto questo si alternano momenti rigorosi e obbligati, swing poderosi in cui la batteria memore del Max Roach anni Sessanta e di Roy Haynes fa da contraltare al vibrafono rilucente e originale, capace di far riverberare lo spazio sonoro o al sassofono colemaniano di Shelton che in ogni assolo dimostra uno spiccato senso della frase.

Le parti scritte e gli sviluppi improvvisativi si muovo tra geometrie ad assetto variabile lungo strade in cui a far da apripista c’è sempre il poderoso contrabbasso di Roebke.
http://italia.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=6869

Ni Kantu review by Clifford Allen

ARRIVE – There Was (CF 217)
CYLINDER – Cylinder (CF 219)
Composer-reedman Aram Shelton is a very unassuming character, which is partly why his trajectory is so interesting to watch. Based in Oakland, California for the past several years while studying at Mills College, he’s still found time to maintain his Chicago roots, playing with cooperative ensembles like Fast Citizens and Rolldown as well as various West Coast aggregations. As an improviser, he’s probably one of the most consistently exciting altoists on the contemporary scene, having studied intently the music of historic messengers like Jackie McLean, Gary Bartz, Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton and wrapping it all into his own conception. Two recent discs on the Clean Feed label put an excellent spotlight on some of Shelton’s activities – namely, the quartets Arrive (which began in Chicago) and the decidedly Bay Area band Cylinder.

Arrive features fellow Rolldown members Jason Adasiewicz (vibes) and Jason Roebke (bass) along with drummer Tim Daisy, and There Was is their second disc to date. The opening title piece gradually shifts from spare tonal exploration to sharp alto pirouettes atop a taut, active thrum, Roebke’s fistfuls making this groove edgily pliant and brightly accented. The vibist’s solo shows just how much he’s progressed over the last few years, bright pools and fragmentary sub-tunes making themselves clear in one of the most strikingly (no pun intended) individual statements on the instrument in recent memory. “Frosted” exhibits a shredded view of a nocturnal half-ballad as Shelton takes a caressing tone and eviscerates it with gutsy near squall, at other times making coagulated blues. Adasciewicz matches delicacy with crisp, snaking movement in a mirror to the saxophonist’s devilish turns before Daisy inflects the tune with calypso-like rhythms. From the lilting melody of “Lost,” it’s a quick transition into Roebke’s woody muscle, using hands, bow and forearms to craft tensile opposition. Reprising the theme, its resonance is catchy and Shelton’s blistering statements rekindle the fiery gobs of AACM sound as much as they do an aggressively-tinged hardbop push. He’s clearly a player who knows two divergent traditions well, but his own work as an instrumentalist-composer is to find ways to bring them together.

Cylinder is the cooperative quartet of Shelton, trumpeter Darren Johnston, bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and drummer Kjell Nordeson (who splits his time between California and Stockholm). The trumpeter composed the opening “The Ear That Was Sold to a Fish,” which recalls the John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet in its uneasy funereal unison before splaying out into curling alto, as meaty pizzicato bass and Nordeson’s light rattle build a rhythm environment. “The Deep Disciplines” pits short, darting segments against sawing insistence, alto and trumpet in loose commentary atop a swaying hull and obsessive patter. A drummer who builds his language from small rimshots, highly-tuned taps and deadened thuds, Nordeson is one of the most engaging parts of this quartet, especially as he counters Mezzacappa’s robust and steadfast bass playing. The pair tugs at one another on the brief “Shells,” written by the drummer as a chunky rhythmic exploration that soon steps out of bounds while horns pile on with cutting interplay. Mezzacappa’s closing “Earthworm” is a spacious roil with bass clarinet and drums played off of rude harmonic scrawl in varying degrees of density. Cylinder presents a solid program of piano-less quartet music and, while not all of it is entirely distinctive, the contrasts between the group’s four personalities should make for excellent future results. Both discs are a fine place to introduce oneself to Aram Shelton’s music.

Monsieur Délire revuew by François Couture

ARRIVE / There Was… (CF 217)
Un deuxième (ou je m’abuse?) album pour ce quatuor du saxophoniste Aram Shelton, avec Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), Jason Roebke (contrebasse) et Tim Daisy (batterie). Plus constant que le premier. Très jazz, assez puissant, le jeu coulant d’Adasiewicz adoucissant les aspérités du saxo alto. Un disque studio honnête.

A second album (or am I mistaken?) for this quartet led by saxman Aram Shelton, with Kason Adasiewicz (vibes), Jason Roebke (doublebass) and Tim Daisy (drums). More consistent than the first CD. Very jazzy, quite powerful, Adasiewicz’s flowing playing smoothing out the alto sax’s asperities. A honest studio album.
http://blog.monsieurdelire.com/2011/06/2011-06-23-oliveroslopezvan-nortbraasch.html

New City Music preview by Dave Cantor

Arrive – There Was (CF 217)
Listening still ranks as one of the most important aspects of performing. Ask Pauline Oliveros, she agrees. Aram Shelton, a onetime local who now resides in the Bay with his alto sax but makes frequent pilgrimages back to Chicago, is well acquainted with the necessity to bleat out incomprehensible melodic progressions, but then rein it in and allow enough room for his cohort to expound related musical ideas. Affiliated with everyone from Weasel Walter, another East Bay transplant, to the Functional Blackouts, Shelton’s dates as a leader aren’t as varied as his other recording concerns, but hint at the ability to augment his tone and style on demand. Working with the Portuguese imprint Clean Feed, Shelton’s brought out “There Was…” with his group Arrive. The band, a quartet including Jason Adasiewicz on vibes, Jason Roebke with his bass and sometime-Vandermark associate Tim Daisy on drums, turned in six tunes for its latest release. Strikingly broad for an offering hemmed up in avant-jazz terms, the quartet works in airy tones as much as frenetic improvised passages and even tosses in a few drum solos. “Frosted” finds Daisy being featured for a romp over his toms, somehow avoiding overt African references, exemplifying Shelton and his group’s ability to adroitly assimilate influence without sacrificing the personal. Marshall Allen and John Gilmore, from Sun Ra’s groups, don’t function as the center to Shelton’s sound. It’s lighter, even sidestepping Art Ensemble ties. The band leader’s new(ish) digs out west, though, might serve as a better point of reference—Mills College is out there. But even Anthony Braxton doesn’t hold sway over Shelton’s approach to music. He’s a rare contemporary player capable of adding in some Euro-styled experimentalism with rhythmic ideas, no doubt, gleaned from his work in the Windy City.
http://music.newcity.com/2011/06/20/preview-aram-sheltonelastic-arts/

Chicago Reader review by Peter Margasak

Arrive – There Was… (CF 217)
Reedist Aram Shelton founded his quartet Arrive in Chicago, and though he moved to the Bay Area in 2005—the rest of the band still lives here—the group has only gotten better throughout this period of forced long-distance collaboration. Arrive’s recent second album, There Was . . . (Clean Feed), sounds more assured, focused, and unified than their 2005 self-titled debut. Granted, the group has been playing most of the album’s six tunes on and off for several years, and they cut the record right after completing a U.S. tour—but Shelton has also grown as a composer. The rhythms are less jagged and more fluid, the melodies are more elegant, and in the hands of Shelton (on alto sax) and his front-line partner here, vibist Jason Adasiewicz, the arrangements sound more thoughtful and rich. Shelton’s playing is intense but not overloud, and I hear a shift from the more buoyant sound of Ornette Coleman toward the tightly coiled style of Eric Dolphy (sans his trademark intervallic leaps). The pairing of an astringent alto with vibraphone inevitably evokes late-60s Blue Note sessions with Bobby Hutcherson, who worked with Dolphy and with brilliant altoist Jackie McLean. But Shelton sounds more like himself than ever, and with empathetic support from the agile rhythm section—bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy—so does Arrive.
http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/aram-shelton-keefe-jackson-and-anton-hatwich-arrive/Event?oid=4071016