Daily Archives: July 31, 2013

Not Just Jazz review by Brent Black

CF 279Mark Dresser Quintet – Nourishments (CF 279)
With Nourishments, Mark Dresser has released that rare recording that transcends genre while attacking on both the cerebral and visceral fronts. A modern improvisational feast for the senses. Brent Black / @CriticalJazz

Mark Dresser is a bass innovator, perhaps the best that you may not have heard much out of and this would be due to his talents stretching from free improvisational jazz to new music. While his most recent recordings celebrate his prolific ability as a soloist, the aptly titled Nourishments heralds his return to the quintet format for the first time in two decades.

If a carpenter is only as good as his tools analogy holds true in music then Mark Dresser has an eye for talent as well. From alto saxophone rising star Rudresh Mahanthappa to trombonist Michael Dressen, this quintet boasts five legitimate leaders yet their performance is based on counterpoint and the careful manipulation of tone while never losing an intriguing lyrical accessibility. One particular highlight that is the wonderfully crafted use of telematic which is essentially riding the wave of digital technology by utilizing fiber optic remote performances for performances being carried out miles apart. The title track “Nourishments” is a telematic performance between San Diego and New York with changing tonalities and fiery rhythmic counterpoint. “Para Waltz” is an amazing and incredibly daring offering that creates a hybrid of sorts revolving around traditional poly rhythms and the non traditional exploration of microtonal shadings.

While the layers of texture and melodic sense of forward motion is dramatic, Nourishments has a deceptively subtle quality of tunes that are deconstructed and reinvented as the performance continues. This melodic masterpiece is brilliantly conceived and a triumphant marriage of simplicity and complexity at the same time.

4 Incredibly Solid Stars!