Tag Archives: Herculaneum

Cadence Magazien review by Phillip McNally

(1) Herculaneum – Herculaneum III (CF 140)
(2) Oliver Leicht – Raume
(3) Taylor Ho Bynum / Abraham Gomez-Delgado – Positive Catastrophe

All three of these recording are worth searching out. But then, I have to confess to a real weakness for the kind of small ensemble or little big band sound that even the 10tet Positive Catastrophe represents. For me, this size of ensemble and this sensibility continues to present some of the most creative opportunities to make exciting music in Jazz.

I’m guessing by the title “III” that this is the third recording of Herculaneum, but (1) is the first time I’ve heard them. It is a nice lineup of two brass, two reeds, with a guitar-led rhythm section, plus three of these players double on another instrument, increasing the arranger’s palette. The nine new compositions here, most of them by drummer and vibes player Dylan Ryan, come right out of the Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan school of Cool Jazz, but this is no retro ensemble. In particular, David McDonnell’s alto sax can have a loose and outside sensibility, a bit like some of Steve Coleman’s work. They are a fine band, and I will be out looking for albums II and I.

Oliver Leicht leads an 8tet called [ACHT.] on (2). It’s really a 7tet of brass and rhythm over which Leicht’s rich, woody clarinet bounces joyfully. The low end horn section is amazingly tight, and the voicings Leicht writes for French horn, euphonium, trombone, and tuba are all warm and fat. Plus the rhythm trio is lithe and fresh, swinging without a lot of flashiness. They make a nice post-Bop big band sound, inside but always interesting and never lost in long solo flights. Again those Birth of the Cool sessions come to mind, but as with (1), Leicht and company have a looser and more post Ornette sense of harmony, and that makes (2) both new and worth your time.

Finally, Positive Catastrophe is an exciting project. The co-leaders are Taylor Ho Bynum, who brings along his progressive Jazz creds, and Abraham Gomez-Delgado, whose work comes out if the progressive Latino bands scene in New York City. It might sound like an odd combination, but all these cats can play, and the results on (3) have got a bit of Microscopic 7tet in them, and a heavy dose of the fun and the complexity of Sun Ra, too. Jen Shyu has a fine alto voice, and plays the June Tyson role on all four parts of “Travels,” the band’s tribute to the Arkestra. But she sings a more straight, big band vocal on “Stillness/Life” and she plays the erhu throughout, as well. “Revamped” features her erhu with Keith Witty’s acoustic bass and Pete Fitzpatrick’s electric guitar for a sort of Lounge Lizards style string summit. The Latin touch that Gomez-Delgado and his associates bring to the music is a subtle but solid ground for the Spaceship Ho Bynum leads. There’s nothing quite like it that I’ve heard. Their roots go back to Don Cherry’s MultiKulti, and there is more than a little of all the great works on the Asian Improv label here too. But (3) got its own sound, and a beautiful one at that. I certainly hope Positive Catastrophe is no one time project, because Jazz needs a whole lot more of what these cats can bring! Go out and find it. www.cadencebuilding.com ©Cadence Magazine 2010

Temporary Fault review by Massimo Ricci

A Pair Of Not So Recent Clean Feeds
With many more to come (…). This makes me think that roundup reviews are not so useful after all. In the future I won’t wait for publishing a write-up until having listened eight CDs of the same label. It’s probably better to break them in smaller groups, or it could take years…

TRINITY – Breaking The Mold (CF 139)
A Norwegian quartet mingling dissimilar influences – jazz, space rock, harsh electronica – through predominantly jarring procedures that could appear scarcely lucid on a first try, but instead let slip a substantial degree of imagination. Ultimately, and most important, Trinity don’t sound like anything else (at least in the Clean Feed catalogue). All the four members have gone through the most disparate kind of collaboration: Jaga Jazzist to Mats Gustafsson, Raoul Bjorkenheim to Nate Wooley, the leader – saxophonist and clarinettist Kjetil Møster – a metal rock bassist in his past, before switching to reeds. Implausible yet efficient solutions abound, powerful sax blasts juxtaposed with half-ethereal, half-acrid atonal keyboard fluids (Morten Qvenild) that possess the rare gift of not sounding like an amassment of presets. The “rhythm section” – bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Thomas Strønen – is in actuality half of a palette where abstraction, violence, rituality and persuasive soloing succeed, seemingly in lack of a definite compositional planning. The complete nonexistence of ambassadorial accents and inconclusively politic neutrality typical of a fat chunk of contemporary jazz brings the whole to an acceptable balance, though. After a couple of spins one realizes that these bizarre sonic concoctions cannot be filed in the archive of banality, despite the difficulty of welcoming them with real infatuation. In any case Trinity deserve attention, if only for their different sound and explorative curiosity.

HERCULANEUM – Herculaneum III (CF 140)
Given the presence of a flute (Nate Lepine) and the album title, one would think about Focus. But this record is more like a finely detailed replica of certain past atmospheres involving medium-sized jazz combos and larger orchestral entities, the music skilfully devised in absolute respect for the tradition, lush arrangements and extensive solo sections alternated with sapience and sensitiveness. The large part of the tracks were written by drummer and vibraphonist Dylan Ryan, which might appear as an oddity but it’s not, the music possessing indeed an effervescent pulse that animates scores where, in some circumstances, the tremendous contrapuntal richness might induce someone to think to relative sluggishness. In that sense, David Mcdonnell (alto sax, clarinet), Nick Broste (trombone) and Patrick Newbery (trumpet and flugelhorn) provide a significant miscellany of non-invasive colloquialism and management of virtuosity, gratifying the ears with a melange of piquancy and obedience. Guitarist John Beard’s clean-toned rationality and bassist Greg Danek’s solidly corpulent presence complete an ensemble that consider revolution a dated concept while trying to revolutionize behind-the-times music. One can’t help but admit that listening to this attempt equals a lovely chat with a beautifully aged woman; even lovers of Frank Zappa’s The Grand Wazoo could find something palatable here. Good stuff.

All About Jazz Italy “Best of 2009” List – Month by month

Steven Bernstein – Diaspora Suite (Tzadik)
Tino Tracanna – Giovanni Falzone – Paolino Dalla Porta – Vittorio Marinoni – Stylus Q (Abeat Records)
Ornette Coleman – Town Hall 1962 (ESP Disk) 
Paul Bley – Closer (ESP Disk)
Wayne Horvitz – Joe Hill: 16 Actions for Orchestra, Voice, and Soloist (New World Records)
Gianluigi Trovesi – All’Opera – Profumo di Violetta (ECM Records) 
William Parker Quartet – Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity Records)
Houdini’s Cage – Memories of a Barber (El Gallo Rojo) 

Michael Bates – Clockwise (Greenleaf Music)
The Microscopic Septet – Lobster Leaps In (Cuneiform Records)
Enrico Rava – New York Days (ECM Records) 
Atomic School Days – Distil (Okka Disk)
Mostly Other People Do the Killing – This Is Our Moosic (Hot Cup Records)
Blue Notes – The Ogun Collection (Ogun) 
Bik Bent Braam – Extremen (BBB)
Mary Halvorson Trio – Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records) 

Avishai Cohen – Flood (Part Two of the Big Rain Trilogy) (Anzic Records)
Darrell Katz & Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra –  The Same Thing (Cadence Jazz Records)
Fight the Big Bull – Dying Will Be Easy (Clean Feed Records) 
Mulatu Astatke & the Heliocentrics – Inspiration Information 3 (Strut/!K7)
Dinamitri Jazz Folklore + Amiri Baraka – Akendengue Suite (Rai Trade)
Jon Irabagon – Jon Irabagon’s Outright! (Innova Recordings) 
Chat Noir – Difficult to See You (EmArcy)
Zentralquartett – Au der Elbe Schwimmt ein rosa krokodil (Intakt Records)
Jim Hall – Bill Frisell – Hemispheres (ArtistShare) 
Anthony Braxton – Standards (Brussels) 2006 (Amirani Records)  

Shakers N’ Bakers – Yearning for Zion (Little (i) Music)
Steve Lehman – Manifold (Clean Feed Records)
Dave Stapleton – Matthew Bourne – Dismantling the Waterfall – The Mill Session, Vol.1 (Edition Records) 
Aa.Vv. – Nigeria 70 – The Definitive Story of 1970’s Funky Lagos (Strut/!K7)
Satoko Fujii – Heat Wave (Not Two)
Morton Feldman –  The Viola in My Life (ECM Records)

Soft Machine – Drop (Moonjune Records)
Michael Jefry Stevens Trio – For Andrew (Konnex Records)
Daniele Cavallanti – Tiziano Tononi – Rings of Fire (Long Song Records) 
Fred Frith and Arte Quartett – Still Urban / The Big Picture (Intakt Records)
Denman Maroney – Udentity (Clean Feed Records)
Fast ‘N’ Bulbous – Waxed Oop (Cuneiform Records) 
Henry Grimes – Solo (Ilk Music)
Ran Blake – Driftwoods (Tompkins Square Records) 

Amato Jazz Trio – Time Pieces for Piano (Abeat Records)
Clusone 3 – Soft Lights and Sweet Music (Hatology)
Nicole Mitchell Indigo Trio – Anaya (Rogue Art) 
Ingrid Laubrock – Sleepthief (Intakt Records)
Alex Cline – Continuation (Cryptogramophone)
Positive Catastrophe – Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records) 
Louis Sclavis – Lost on the Way (ECM Records)
Chico Hamilton – Twelve Tones of Love (Joyous Shout!)
Thomas Mapfumo – Hokoyo! / Gwindingwi Rine Shumba (Water) 
Jeremy Udden – Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent)

The Skopje Connection – Amam (Enrico Blumer Production)
Nate Wooley – Fred Lonberg-Holm – Jason Roebke – Throw Down Your Hammer and Sing (Porter Records)
Sophie Agnel – Capsizing Moments (Emanem) 
Franz Koglmann – Lo-lee-taa – Music on Nabokov (Col Legno)
Gebhard Ullmann – Don’t Touch My Music voll. 1 & 2 (Not Two)
Gabriele Cohen Jewish Experience – Golem (Alfamusic)
John Taylor – Phases (Cam Jazz)
Charlie Parker – Bird in Time 1940-1947 (ESP Disk) 

Nels Cline – Coward (Cryptogramophone)
Nadia Ratsimandresy – Matteo Ramon Arevalos – Messiaen et autour de Messiaen (ReR Megacorp)
David S. Ware – Shakti (AUM Fidelity Records) 
Seamus Blake Quartet – Live In Italy (Jazz Eyes)
Sound for the Organization of Society – Poem of the Underground (Circumvention Music)
Nostalgia 77 – Feat. Keith & Julie Tippett – The Nostalgia Sessions Vol.1 (Tru Thoughts) 
Jon Hassell – Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street (ECM Records)
Giancarlo Mazzù – Luciano Troja – Seven Tales About Standards – Vol. 2 (Splasc(h) Records)
Luc Ferrari – L’oeuvre électronique (Ina GRM) 
Greg Wall’s Later Prophets – Ha’ Orot (Tzadik)  

Junk Box – Cloudy Then Sunny (Libra Records)
White Rocket – White Rocket (Diatribe Recordings)
John Hebert – Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records) 
Tom Harrell – Prana Dance (HighNote Records)
Luca Aquino – Lunaria (EmArcy)
Trio 3 + Irene Schweizer – Berne Concert (Intakt Records) 
Sean Jones – The Search Within (Mack Avenue Records)
Rob Mazurek – Sound Is (Delmark Records) 

Dennis Gonzalez and Faruq Z. Bey w/Northwood Improvisers Septet – Hymn for Tomasz Stanko (Qbico Records)
Matt Wilson Quartet – That’s Gonna Leave a Mark (Palmetto Records)
Jerry Granelli V16 – Vancouver ’08 (Songlines Recordings) 
Steve Lacy – Mal Waldron – Let’s Call This… Esteem (SILTA Records)
Frank London – Lorin Sklamberg – Tsuker-zis (Tzadik)
Steven Bernstein – Marcus Rojas – Kresten Osgood –  Tattoos and Mushrooms (Ilk Music) 
Marcin & Bartlomeij Brat Oles – Duo (Fenommedia)
Herculaneum – Herculaneum III (Clean Feed Records) 

Laurence Hobgood – When the Heart Dances (NAIM Audio)
Vijay Iyer Trio – Historicity (ACT Music)
Satoko Fujii – Myra Melford – Under the Water (Libra Records) 
Gianluca Petrella Cosmic Band – Coming Tomorrow – Part One (Spacebone Records)
Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet – Things Have Got to Change (Clean Feed Records)
Digital Primitives – Hum Crackle & Pop (Hopscotch) 
Chad Taylor – Circle Down (482 Music)
Fred Anderson – Staying in the Game (Engine)
Miles Davis – The Complete Columbia Album Collection (Sony-Legacy Music) 
Roberto Cecchetto – Memories (Parco della Musica Records)  

Egberto Gismonti – Saudações (ECM Records)
Lee Konitz – Martial Solal – Star Eyes (Hat Hut Records)
Jon Irabagon with Mike Pride – I Don’t Hear Nothin’ But the Blues (Loyal Label) 
Lucky 7s – Pluto Junkyard (Clean Feed Records)
Wadada Leo Smith – Spiritual Dimensions (Cuneiform Records)
Lawrence Casserley – Adam Linson – Integument (Psi Records)
Franco D’Andrea Quartet – Half the Fun (El Gallo Rojo) 
Miles Davis – Sonny Rollins – The Classic Prestige Sessions – 1951-1956  (Prestige Records)

Clean Feed on All About Jazz New York “Best of 2009” list

Best Record Label


Best New Release 2009
Herculaneum – Herculaneum III (CF 140)
Steve Adams Trio – Surface Tension (CF 131)

Best New Release 2009 – Honorable Mention 
Denman Maroney Quintet – Udentity (CF 137)
Harris Eisenstadt – Canada Day (CF 157)
Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet – Things Have Got To Change (CF 150)
Michael Blake/Kresten Osgood – Control This (CF 136)
Paul Dunmall’s Sun Quartet – Ancient and Future Airs (CF 138 )

Renku – In Coimbra (CF 162)
Steve Swell – Planet Dream (CF 148 )
Trespass Trio – “…was there to illuminate the night sky…” (CF 149)

Best Debut Release
Nobuyasu Furuya Trio – Bendowa (CF 159)

Best Original Album Artwork 
Avram Fefer – Ritual (CF 145)

David R. Adler “Best of 2009” list on Jazz House

1. David S. Ware, Shakti (Aum Fidelity)
2. Miguel Zenón, Esta Plena (Marsalis Music)
3. Gerald Clayton, Two-Shade (ArtistShare)
4. Vijay Iyer Trio, Historicity (ACT)
5. Steve Lehman Octet, Travail Transformation & Flow (Pi)
6. Herculaneum, Herculaneum III (Clean Feed)
7. David Binney, Third Occasion (Mythology)
8. Edward Simon Trio, Poesía (Cam Jazz)
9. Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam)
10. SFJazz Collective, Live 2009: The Works of McCoy Tyner (SFJazz)
11. Julian Lage, Sounding Point (Decca/Emarcy)
12. Ben Wendel, Simple Song (Sunnyside)
13. Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio, Reflections (Wommusic)
14. Abdullah Ibrahim, Senzo (WDR/Sunnyside)
15. Keith Jarrett, Testament (ECM)
16. Stefon Harris’s Blackout, Urbanus (Concord)
17. John Patitucci, Remembrance (Concord)
18. Marcus Strickland, Idiosyncrasies (Strick Muzik)
19. John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Eternal Interlude (Sunnyside)
20. Linda Oh Trio, Entry (ind.)
21. Fred Hersch Plays Jobim (Sunnyside)
22. Samuel Blaser, Pieces of Old Sky (Clean Feed)
23. Henry Threadgill’s ZOOID, This Brings Us To, Volume 1 (Pi)
24. Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Strings, Renegades (Delmark)
25. Claudia Acuña, En Este Momento (Marsalis Music)

Others of note —

Nels Cline, Coward (Cryptogramophone)
John Hicks, I Remember You (HighNote)
Martial Solal, Live at the Village Vanguard (Cam Jazz)
Nelson Veras, Solo Session Vol. 1 (BEE Jazz)
Mika Pohjola, Great Tunes By My Friends (Blue Music Group)
Dan Tepfer, Twelve Free Improvisations in Twelve Keys (ind.)
Julian Argüelles, Inner Voices (Tone of a Pitch)
Charles Evans, The King of All Instruments (Hot Cup)
Jason Stein, In Exchange for a Process (Leo)
Daniel Kelly, Portal (3×9)
Katherine Young, Further Secret Origins (Porter)
Mika Pohjola, The Red Bicycle (Blue Music Group)

Gerry Hemingway & Thomas Lehn, Kinetics: Tom & Gerry (Auricle)
Gerry Hemingway & John Butcher, Buffalo Pearl (Auricle)
Eddie Daniels & Roger Kellaway, A Duet of One: Live at the Bakery (IPO)
Jim Hall & Bill Frisell, Hemispheres (ArtistShare)
Michael Blake & Kresten Osgood, Control This (Clean Feed)
Alan Sondheim & Myk Freedman, Julu Twine (Porter)
Andy Milne & Benoit Delbecq, Where Is Pannonica? (Songlines)
Jesse Stacken & Kirk Knuffke, Mockingbird (SteepleChase)
Satoko Fujii & Myra Melford, Under the Water (Libra)
Dennis González & João Paulo, Duo (Clean Feed)
Dan Tepfer & Lee Konitz, Duos with Lee (Sunnyside)
Ben Monder & Bill McHenry, Bloom (Blue Music Group)
Eddie Harris & Ellis Marsalis, Homecoming (Elm Classics)
Gary Peacock & Marc Copland, Insight (Pirouet)

Tyshawn Sorey, Koan (482 Music)
Pascal Niggenkemper Trio, Pasàpas (Konnex)
Anthony Wilson Trio, Jack of Hearts (Groove Note)
J.D. Allen, Shine! (Sunnyside)
Manuel Valera, Currents (MaxJazz)
FLY, Sky & Country (ECM)
Jerome Sabbagh, One Two Three (BEE Jazz)
Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore, Three Less Than Between (Clean Feed)
Enrico Pieranunzi/Marc Johnson/Joey Baron, Dream Dance (CAM Jazz)
Han Bennink Trio, Parken (ILK)
Darius Jones Trio, Man’ish Boy: A Raw and Beautiful Thing (Aum Fidelity)
Digital Primitives, Hum Crackle & Pop (Hopscotch)
Chad Taylor, Circle Down (482 Music)
Kevin Hays Trio, You’ve Got a Friend (Jazz Eyes)
Sam Yahel, Hometown (Posi-Tone)
John Hollenbeck/Theo Bleckmann/Gary Versace, Refuge Trio (Winter & Winter)

All About Jazz review by Nic Jones

Herculaneum – Herculaneum III (CF 140)
In some respects what we have here is music that’s a step on from Jimmy Giuffre’s work in the 1950s, but if it’s the chamber music notion that unites the two bodies of work across the intervening half-century, it’s clear that this band marches to a rhythmically more vigorous aesthetic. The music is at times alive with a kind of tensile energy that similarly invalidates the Giuffre comparison, but what unites the two is a sense of exploration, of goals ill-defined and thus made all the more worthy of pursuit.
As much as anywhere else, this comes across on “Prosecco/mcv,” where looseness of rhythmic input is perhaps more compelling than the solo voices, especially when an off-kilter unison passage has the effect of forewarding David McDonnell’s alto sax solo. He’s clearly fired by what’s going on around him, though not to the extent that he resorts to screaming through his horn. The resulting collective fire is a refreshing one.

“Mahogany” has trace elements of the quartet Paul Desmond had with Jim Hall; the lyricism that was always a hallmark of that group is here in shades, but in his solo, guitarist John Beard favors a harder, less harmonically oblique approach than Hall.

Echoes of time-honored West Coast tropes are rife on “Egyptian Femme,” although in this case it’s the more abstract work of some of Shelly Manne’s groups that hold sway. This doesn’t matter anyway as such is the nature of the music these days that perhaps that represents one of the many avenues less explored.

The ensemble’s balance is best exemplified by “Red Dawn,” where the underlying anxiety of the line is offset by the deft handling of material. The chorale of the horns serves as a jump-off point for improvisation on the part of both McDonnell again on alto sax and trumpeter Patrick Newbery, whose sometimes quasi-militaristic phrasing conjures up the parade ground at some even more dystopian point in the future.

“Eyeball” is the piece least accommodating with the past. Meter is largely abandoned at first, in favor of vaguely ominous washes of sound, before things settle down in a less abstract vein. Again the horns serve a kind of choral purpose which sets them at odds with the rhythmic momentum, but the resulting tension, never resolved as it is, affords the soloists the greater freedom. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=34763