Daily Archives: September 9, 2013

Jazzflits review by Herman te Loo

CF 269Trespass Trio + Joe McPhee – Human Encore (CF 269)
Ook in de free jazz loont het om wat stukken te hebben om je aan vast te houden als je met een gast speelt. Het Zweedse Trespass Trio stond in mei en juni 2012 drie dagen in het Portugese Coimbra met Joe McPhee als vierde man. Het zijn juist de vrije improvisaties die hier het minst boeien. De klank van de alt- en baritonsax van Martin Küchen mengt goed met de tenorsax en de pocket trumpet van de Amerikaan. Dat is vooral goed te horen in de door Küchen geschreven melodieën van bijvoorbeeld het openingsstuk, ‘A desert on fire, a forest’ (dat aan het eind van de cd nog een keer van een andere opnamedag terugkeert) of ‘In our midst’ met zijn verrassende paso doble-ritmiek.
‘Opmerkelijk is de gretigheid waarmee de destijds 73-jarige Joe McPhee zich af en toe met het muzikale verloop bemoeit’ Op dergelijke momenten verbaast het dat McPhee voor het eerst met de Zweden op het podium stond. Dat laatste verklaart overigens ook de gretigheid waarmee de destijds 73-jarige veteraan
zich af en toe met het muzikale verloop bemoeit. In ‘Bruder Beda’ brengt hij wel heel snel de boeiende drumsolo van Raymond Strid naar een einde toe. Maar als je de heldere ‘pocket trumpet’ hoort mengen met de bariton van Küchen en de gestreken bas van Per Zanussi in het titelnummer, vergeef je hem veel.

JazzWord review by Ken Waxman

CF 279Mark Dresser Quintet – Nourishments (CF 279)
Double bass master and educator Mark Dresser is known for his ability to stunningly interpret the most advanced notated and improvised music – often in a solo context. However on this, his first quintet date in decades, he shows he can compose and play sounds that are affecting and swinging without neglecting his matchless technique.

While the line-up of trombone, alto saxophone, piano, bass and drums may read like that of a standard bop combo, each of the sidemen is so accomplished instrumentally that the results are out-of-the-ordinary. The most obvious departure from the norm is that Denman Maroney plays so-called hyperpiano throughout, allowing him to expose in-and-outside the frame multiphonics along with expected patterns. Alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, who co-wrote “Not Withstanding” with Dresser, is in the Mauger band with the bassist, and his knowledge of Carnatic music helps negotiate the shimmering changes of Dresser’s “Rasaman” honoring a sitar-playing colleague. Trombonist Michael Dessen is established in mainstream and avant contexts; while Tom Rainey and Michael Sarin, who split drum duties, are both sympathetic, un-showy accompanists.

Elation is often expressed as the players intertwine their parts, interjecting tone extensions without losing the tunes’ thematic threads. This is demonstrated concisely on the time-signature shifting “Rasaman” as Dresden’s wide-ranging plunger tones dovetail with Dresser’s stentorian slaps, then Mahanthappa heads into screech mode alongside the bassist’s spiccato scratches as contrapuntal lines churn beneath them.

A little bit Latin, a little bit boppish and expressed dynamically as players simultaneously tease variations from the melodic line, “Nourishments” demonstrates Dresser’s compositional sophistication. The bassist’s chunky propulsive solos serve as bridges between slurred trombone and honking sax flutters that reference Mingus’ writing and faint echoes of “Played Twice” as well as devious recaps of the tune’s head. Meanwhile “Para Waltz” is an exemplar of combo interaction as Rainey’s drum beats behind harmonized horns maintain a relaxed feel, seconded by Maroney’s keyboard rhythms, while at the same time the pianist’s string preparations spice the narrative with unsettling microtones.

His piquant asides, plus the others’ ingredients mixed into Dresser’s compositional recipe book help provide the musical nourishment for this key session.
http://www.jazzword.com/review/128254

Kuadratuur review by Joachim Ceulemans

CF 275Lama + Chris Speed – Lamaçal (CF 275)
Het Portugese platenlabel Clean Feed verdient niet alleen lof voor de manier waarop het het hedendaagse jazz- en improvisatiegebeuren met veel ijver documenteert, maar ook omdat het daarin weinig onderscheid maakt tussen vertrouwde namen zoals Ken Vandermark, Gerry Hemingway en Joe McPhee en mindere goden. In 2011 kwam het label bijvoorbeeld op de proppen met ‘Oneiros’, het debuut van de Portugese groep LAMA. Weinigen hadden op dat moment al gehoord van bassist Gonçalo Almeida, trompettiste Susana Santos Silva en drummer Greg Smith, maar dankzij de kwaliteitsgarantie van Clean Feed gaven velen het jonge trio een kans. Ook opvolger ‘Lamaçal’ zal de nieuwsgierigheid van velen wekken, want niemand minder dan Chris Speed blaast op deze plaat een stukje mee.    LAMA werd in 2008 opgericht aan het conservatorium van Rotterdam, waar de betrokken muzikanten op dat moment hun muzikale opleiding afwerkten. Vandaag heeft het trio Lissabon als uitvalsbasis, niet toevallig de thuisstad van Clean Feed en een hoop andere Portugese acts die aan het label zijn verbonden. Net zoals die havenstad in het verleden een toegangspoort was voor nieuwigheden uit verre uithoeken van de wereld, is ook LAMA nu ontvankelijk voor invloeden die haar muziek kunnen verrijken. Zo kent het door jazz en improvisatie gedomineerde oeuvre van de groep een oosterse inslag, wat vooral tot uiting komt in ‘Anémona’, een door een sluw basostinato voortgestuwd demonstratiestuk op maat van Chris Speed. Voor de Amerikaan is dit vertrouwd terrein dat hij tot tien jaar geleden nog uitgebreid verkende met het op non-actief staande kwartet Pachora. Hij danst op klarinet dan ook gewillig in het rond wanneer het licht voor hem na een lange inleiding op groen springt.   Door middel van elektronica en loops legt de groep heel wat accenten. Zo is er het mooi dromerige, door delay gevoede ‘Manta’ dat perfect kan fungeren als mini-soundtrack, maar muzikaal geen grote ambities koestert. De door een strijkstok opgewekte en geloopte walvisgeluiden waarmee ‘Moby Dick’ wordt afgetrapt zijn niet meer dan een kitscherige verfraaiing. Het vervolg is echter een pak interessanter met elegant contrabaswerk van Almeida in een (alweer) oosters geïnspireerd thema. Het is dan al lang duidelijk dat LAMA het esthetische hoog in het vaandel voert en dan komt een volle en kraakheldere productie (nochtans een live-registratie vanop het Portalegre Jazz Fest) zoals hier goed van pas.   Speed draagt met ‘He Has a Pair of Dice’ ook een stuk aan, wat voor onverbloemde actie zorgt op de plaat aangezien de groep enkel samenkomt in het jubelende thema om vervolgens solerend en improviserend uit elkaar te spatten. Het is echter in de eigen stukken dat het trio openbloeit, met als hoogtepunt titeltrack ‘Lamaçal’, dat meer dan acht minuten boeit dankzij plagerige uitwisselingen tussen trompet en afwisselend klarinet en tenorsax, in combinatie met een steeds wijzigende onderstroom van bas en drums. Ritmes worden op elkaar gestapeld en het tempo wordt via subtiele ingrepen haast onmerkbaar verdubbeld en weer vertraagd.   Dat Lissabon zich roert in het hedendaagse jazz- en improvisatiegebeuren was al langer bekend. Met LAMA beschikt de Portugese hoofdstad over een kleurrijke vertegenwoordiger voor de melodieuze kant van de avant-garde, die ongetwijfeld ook een woordje kan meepraten op internationaal niveau.

English translation
“The Portuguese label Clean Feed deserve not only praise for the way the contemporary jazz and improvisation done with great diligence documents , but also because it little distinction between familiar names such as Ken Vandermark , Gerry Hemingway and Joe McPhee and lesser gods . In 2011, for example, the label came up with ‘ Oneiros ‘ , the debut of the Portuguese group LAMA . Few had heard at the time of bassist Gonçalo Almeida , trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and drummer Greg Smith , but thanks to the quality of Clean Feed gave many young trio a chance . Also successor ‘ Lamaçal ” will arouse the curiosity of many , because none other than Chris Speed ​​blows on this record.

LAMA was founded in 2008 at the Conservatory of Rotterdam , where the musicians involved at that time while doing their musical training . Lisbon, the hometown of Clean Feed , and a lot of other Portuguese acts linked to the label. Just like the port in the past was a gateway for novelties from distant corners of the world, is also LAMA now receptive to influences that can enrich their ​​music . So it dominated jazz and improvisation work of the group an oriental slant, knows what is mainly reflected in ‘ Anemona , a driven by a cunning bass ostinato  piece and tailored Chris Speed ​​. For the American , this is familiar territory he explored further extended to ten years ago with the inactive standing quartet Pachora . He dances on clarinet therefore willingly in the round when the light turns to him after a long introduction to green .

Through electronics and loops puts the group a lot of accents . There is the beautiful dreamy , fed by delay ‘ Manta ‘ that can perfectly serve as mini – soundtrack , but musically have great ambitions . Generated by a bow and looped whale sounds that ‘ Moby Dick ‘ is kicked are no more than a kitsch embellishment . However, the sequel is a pack interesting with elegant bass work of Almeida in (again ) Asian-inspired theme. It is long been clear that the aesthetic LAMA paramount performs and then a full and crisp production (however a live recording movement from the Portalegre Jazz Fest ) as handy here .

Speed ​​contributes with ‘ He Has a Pair of Dice’ also a lot of , what action will the unvarnished plate since the group only meets in the jubilant theme then sole office and improvising to explode. However, it is in their own pieces that the trio is blossoming , culminating title track ‘ Lamaçal ‘ , that more than eight minutes captivates thanks teasing exchanges between trumpet and alternate clarinet and tenor sax , combined with an ever-changing undercurrent of bass and drums . Rhythms are stacked together and the pace is through subtle interventions almost imperceptibly doubled and delayed again .

Lisbon that stirs in contemporary jazz and improvisation done was already known . With LAMA has the Portuguese capital on a colorful representative for the melodic side of the avant – garde , which undoubtedly can also discuss at international level.
http://www.kwadratuur.be/cdbesprekingen/detail/lama_chris_speed_-_lamacal#.Uis35cbWRSJ

JazzWrap review by Stephan Moore

CF 281Susana Santos Silva & Torbjorn Zetterberg – Almost Tomorrow (CF 281)
The meeting between Santos Silva and Zetterberg is something I wouldn’t have even thought about a few months ago. But in listening to their recordings both with Svenka Kaput and Lama, the desire for experimentation should have seemed obvious.

So Almost Tomorrow is the perfect bridge between to the groups and excellent collaboration of two emerging talents in the European scene.

Santos’ playing is becoming more bold and creative with each release. She brings a rich spirit of ideas that for me, is reminiscent of Joe Mcphee. Zetterberg has been fearless on the bass; and is also growing in stature with each performance.

These ideas and brashness are played out on tunes like the “Columbus Arrival In Har jedalen.” With its interesting blend of blues-like tones and Portuguese flavouring, “Columbus…” is absorbing and adventurous to mind and ear.

“Almost Tomorrow” opens with a heavy solo from Zetterberg as Santos joins in the tune floats between folk and experimental with ease. Both musicians exerting strong and very well placed extend passages.

“Notskalmusik #6” is possibly the most accessible piece on the album. A short but emotional ballad led mainly by Santos, with Zetterberg adding soft touches around the edges.

Almost Tomorrow is a beautiful session that may have come out of the blue but it’s perfect timing for all of us. A great steady, detailed listen and rewarding with every note. Highly Recommended.
http://jazzwrap.blogspot.pt/

Point of Departure review by Clifford Allen

CF 276Harris Eisenstadt September Trio – The Destructive Element (CF 276)
Brooklyn-based and Toronto-raised drummer Harris Eisenstadt has an extraordinarily wide range of ensembles he works in either as leader/principal or sideman/co-conspirator, from a nonet all the way down to this trio with pianist Angelica Sanchez and tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin. The group came together as a loose trio for a few gigs in September 2009 and since the formation and voices worked well together, the September Trio was quickly born. Now on their second disc for Clean Feed, The Destructive Element, a group identity on par with Eisenstadt’s other ensembles is clear. It’s fair to say that Eisenstadt is a listener and a shaper whose approach might be reminiscent of Paul Motian or Joe Morello as opposed to the unmitigated force of Art Blakey or Sunny Murray. While the nine pieces on The Destructive Element are all from Eisenstadt’s pen, one shouldn’t be chastised for assuming the primary voice might be Eskelin or Sanchez. While the instrumentation may recall trios running the gamut from Lester Young, Nat “King” Cole and Buddy Rich to Evan Parker, Alexander von Schlippenbach and Paul Lovens, the feel might be closer to Motian’s group with guitarist Bill Frisell and tenorman Joe Lovano.

The opener, “Swimming, then Rained Out” finds Sanchez darting and bluesy amid Eskelin’s torqued, pillowy and elemental phrases. “Additives” is a cyclical, minefield-like rondo that extends out into rugged near-free play, Sanchez’ gospelized, voluminous harmonies a fascinating contrast with the tenorman’s hard, brightly quizzical economy. Eskelin remains a leanly complex player for whom visions of “No Tonic Pres” or a young Jan Garbarek don’t seem too far off, and he seems especially formidable in trios where he’s the only horn, set against percussion and keyboards (cf. his work with Andrea Parkins or, more recently, organist Gary Versace). Eisenstadt has chosen his mates well, for even the lush and nearly cloying pop-romantic bedrock of “Back and Forth” is taken with stepped knottiness. The title piece is a balladic plateau, the leader’s brushwork nearly disappearing behind plush garlands of tenor and piano, and contrasted heavily against the following “Cascadia,” which teases out Sanchez’ reflections on Monk and early Cecil Taylor in an unaccompanied opening volley before the trio shifts into a tough, expansive waltz. Eisenstadt positions himself as a composer and improviser of reflection and craft, and while there might be a bleeding together of textures on The Destructive Element, the upshot is a set of fine and energetically nuanced trio music gently prodded by crisp, dry movement.
http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD44/PoD44MoreMoments3.html

All About Jazz review by Troy Collins

CF 280Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship (CF 280)
Since arriving in New York City in 2001, Nate Wooley has established himself as one of the most inventive trumpet players of his generation. In addition to the admiration of his peers, including fellow trumpeters like Taylor Ho Bynum Peter Evans and Kirk Knuffke, Wooley has earned the respect of esteemed scene veterans, such as Dave Douglas, who said “Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today, and that is without hyperbole.”

Wooley’s unorthodox virtuosity incorporates a wide variety of extended techniques that exponentially expand the expressive range of his horn. From breathy under-pressurized microtones to coruscating overblown dissonances, Wooley’s multihued sound palette transcends prescribed notions of conventional tonality. Though his willfully abstract approach lends itself well to free improvisation, his formative years spent crafting concise thematic solos in a traditional big band environment instilled an ecumenical sensibility that informs his artistry to this day.

In addition to intimate solo recitals and experimental performances involving extreme amplification and feedback, Wooley has maintained a steadily working acoustic group featuring multi-instrumentalist Josh Sinton (on bass clarinet and baritone saxophone) as his vivacious frontline partner, with vibraphonist Matt Moran  and either bassist Eivind Opsvik or tuba player Dan Peck as alternating members of a pliant rhythm section underpinned by drummer Harris Eisenstadt, whose Canada Day ensemble shares similar instrumentation and personnel, including Wooley.

(Put Your) Hands Together (Clean Feed, 2011), the debut of Wooley’s Quintet, offered a notable demonstration of his leadership skills. (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship is the premier of his Sextet, an augmented version of the abovementioned Quintet, which features both Opsvik and Peck performing in tandem. Expanding upon the territory explored on the previous release, Wooley and company imbue beguiling melodies and captivating rhythms with freewheeling episodes of bold invention, interweaving appealing themes with acerbic textures.

The stately counterpoint of compositions like “Plow” and “Executive Suites” best exemplify Wooley’s flair for juxtaposing effervescent harmonies and jarring discordances, setting Moran’s incandescent flourishes and Eisenstadt’s nimble accents against Opsvik, Peck and Sinton’s subterranean rumblings. In contrast to the neo-classical meditation “The Berries,” the band members’ fervent extrapolations on “Make Your Friend Feel Loved” push into vanguard territory, with Sinton’s frenzied baritone histrionics rivaling Herb Robertson

‘s infamously manic vocalizations. The leader’s similarly ardent statements on the aforementioned number seamlessly integrate quicksilver bop cadences with abrasive metallic shards, while his earthy ruminations on “My Story, My Story” transpose raw expressionism into mature, heartrending lyricism.

(Sit In) The Throne of Friendship is a salient example of Wooley’s diversified talents as a soloist, writer and bandleader. Reinforcing the album’s titular theme is the affable rapport of Wooley’s empathetic sidemen, whose conversational interplay brings his engagingly adventurous tunes to life.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=45258

Le Son du Grisli review by Luc Bouquet

CF 272Sophie Agnel, Steve Noble, John Edwards – Meteo (CF 272)
D’une vibration qui ne se taira jamais vraiment mais qui empruntera de multiples masques, il faut dire l’évidence. Une évidence portée par Sophie Agnel, John Edwards et Steve Noble – ici enregistrés lors du festival Météo 2012. Une évidence qui passe par le détail, par la concentration, par la confiance et par l’écoute.

Soudés, les voici happés par une première station : une vibration qui s’invite obsessionnelle et possédée. Elle vivra le temps qu’elle doit vivre. Puis viendront d’autres mouvements, d’autres froissements, d’autres battements. Des battements d’âme plus précisément. Il y aura de la tension et de la friction, des sons se libérant, des mises en silence. Il y aura des passages secrets, des saccades et des ruades. Une contrebasse prendra le large puisqu’elle ne trouvera pas d’autres chemins et que, celui-ci, sera le plus juste. Le plus juste, précisément, parce que celui choisi. Cette improvisation est intense. Elle nous semble courte. Mais la beauté ne se mesure pas au chronomètre. D’ailleurs la beauté ne se mesure pas : elle s’engouffre dans les élans des protagonistes. Ici, précisément.
http://grisli.canalblog.com/archives/p6-6.html