Tag Archives: Jason Moran

Jazzflits review by Herman te Loo

CF 266Eric Revis 11:11 – Parallax (CF 266)
Muzikanten die muzikaal opgroeiden in New Orleans houden altijd een bijzondere band met de jazztraditie. Zo ook bassist Eric Revis, die we vooral kennen van de groepen van Branford Marsalis. Op ‘Parallax’ komt hij met een All Star-kwartet van gelijkgestemde zielen. Pianist Jason Moran en drummer Nasheet Waits verkennen in The Bandwagon ook al een flink stuk jazzgeschiedenis, en saxofonist/klarinettist Ken Vandermark kent zijn klassiekers. Maar het viertal heeft ook een niet te stillen honger
naar vernieuwing en persoonlijke expressie. Al die elementen komen bij elkaar in een album dat flink wat verschillende kanten opschiet. Van de gestructureerde freejazz van ‘Hyperthral’ tot de vette blues van ‘Winin’ boy blues’ en van de kamermuziek van ‘Edgar’ (met subliem strijkwerk van de leider) tot de onontkoombare groove van ‘Split’. De groepsleden laten horen wat ze allemaal kunnen, en weten daarbinnen hun eigen stempel op het eindproduct te zetten. Of we nu een duidelijk beeld krijgen van Eric Revis als componist, blijft echter een twijfelpunt. Je kunt je namelijk ook in veelzijdigheid verliezen, ‘ePna rdaallta dxr’ etieg tg oebpe uren. Dat neemt niet weg dat er op de cd veel te genieten valt, want als keuzeheer heeft Revis wel een zeer gelukkige hand.
http://www.jazzflits.nl/jazzflits11.07.pdf

The New York City Jazz Record review by David R. Adler

CF 266Eric Revis 11:11 – Parallax (CF 266)
Bassist Eric Revis, with his immense tone and supple sense of swing, has helped define the sound of the Branford Marsalis Quartet for over 15 years. As a leader, he’s taken an eclectic approach, starting from acoustic jazz but adding electric guitar, strings and other textures. In recent years he has embraced a freer concept, working with the likes of Peter Brötzmann, Avram Fefer and Michael Marcus. Parallax, with Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone and clarinet), Jason Moran (piano) and Nasheet Waits (drums), leans strongly in that direction as well. (It’s pertinent that Revis, Waits and Parallax co-producer Orrin Evans are the core of the free-leaning ensemble Tar Baby.) Revis is featured on three solo tracks: the opening “Prelusion”, with frenetic bowing; “Percival”, a tight pizzicato miniature (the title is Cecil Taylor’s middle name) and the finale/title track, rich in somber overtones and washes of sound. But the main focus is the band, switching up from red-blooded ferocity (“Hyperthral”, Vandermark’s “Split”) to a subtler chamber-like aesthetic (“MXR”, “Celestial Hobo”). As much as Parallax is ‘free’, it’s also strongly compositional: Revis’ “Edgar”, a nod to fellow bassist Edgar Meyer, stands out for its repeating double-stop arco pattern and contrapuntal piano-clarinet theme emerging from chaos. “Dark Net”, an ensemble theme of daunting complexity – and no solos at all – is by Clean Feed label mate Michaël Attias (a fine move to highlight work by an underrated composer and peer).
Many don’t realize, but avant garde jazz operates from a position of deepest respect for the tradition. For Revis and certainly for Moran’s own work, the enthusiasm stretches back well before bebop. Their reading of Fats Waller’s “I’m Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” begins with the melody almost exactly as written, but against a backdrop of wild sonic abstraction. Jelly Roll Morton’s “Winin’ Boy Blues” acquires a slow, booming beat true to Morton’s own accurate description of the song: “smutty”.

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

CF 266Eric Revis 11:11 – Eric Revis’ Parallax (CF 266)
Bassist Eric Revis is notoriously comfortable within many jazz contexts and vernaculars. As a leader and session man, he’s been in the thick of things, toggling between modern mainstream, trad-jazz, Acid Jazz and other crosscutting musical endeavors. Here, he revisits the freer spectrum, supported by an all-star lineup. And while there’s certainly no shortage of group-centric expressionism, the bassist doesn’t keep the band in a particular mode or style. Revis’ menu generates an oscillating aural experience, where each piece stands on its own.

“Split” is built on succinct contrasts, executed by Revis and pianist Jason Moran’s lower register ostinato groove, followed by saxophonist Ken Vandermark’s popping notes, spiced with fractured swing inferences. At the onset, the quartet establishes a baseline built on a stirring rhythmic motif, accelerated by drummer Nasheet Waits’ blustery rolls and blitzing shuffle beats. The panorama opens up as Vandermark darts, dashes, and bangs out a few bluesy inflections via a torrid solo spot. The intensity level soars as Waits’ kicks the overall metric into hyper-mode, leading the musicians back to the primary theme for the closeout. Indeed, Revis and associates stir the kettle many times over and convey an interchanging rhythmic mien throughout the program.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=43882

All About Jazz Italy review by Vincenzo Roggero

CF 266Eric Revis 11:11 – Parallax (CF 266)
Valutazione: 4 stelle
Sei composizioni del leader, una a testa per Ken Vandermark e per Michael Attias (sassofonista di grande talento, non adeguatamente riconosciuto), tre improvvisazioni collettive, e due brani – Fats Waller e Jelly Roll Morton – che pescano agli albori del jazz. È questo il menu proposto da Parallax, album dagli incroci e incontri impossibili, dalle prospettive differenti nate da differenti punti di vista, dal risultato davvero eccellente. Eric Revis vanta una lunga associazione in quartetto con Brandford Marsalis, mentre Jason Moran e Nasheet Waits sono i due terzi del Bandwagon Trio, entrambe le formazioni impegnate ai massimi livelli nel rivitalizzare, aggiornare e individuare nuove prospettive per il jazz moderno. Ken Vandermark è da tempo uno dei principali animatori e punto di riferimento imprescindibile della scena free di Chicago e la varietà dei suoi progetti e delle sue partecipazioni la dice lunga sul grado di curiosità, sullo spirito di avventura e sulla sete di ricerca che animano il musicista originario di Rhode Island.

L’idea, tanto semplice, neppure nuova ma non per questo meno che geniale, è stata quella di far incontrare sensibilità e storie musicali così differenti su di un terreno compositivo, come abbiamo visto, piuttosto variegato, lasciando al libero fluire di pensiero il compito di determinare il risultato finale. Che è perlomeno sorprendente e, spesso, entusiasmante.

Bastano gli iniziali centoventi secondi di forsennato solo archettato del leader per capire che quella che si sta ascoltando non è una registrazione qualunque. “MXR” è una sorta di ellingtoniana “Caravan” tra indolente incedere del tema e toniche variazioni, con un ispirato clarinetto a intorbidire le acque.

“Winin’ Boy Blues” di Jelly Roll Morton è carta vetrata, whiskey a buon mercato ed un’epoca irripetibile resa vivida e attuale più che mai. “Celestial Hobo” è metafisica interpretazione dei versi del poeta Bob Kaufman, mentre “Edgar” è tango atipico, quasi sinfonico nella ricchezza espressiva. E i novanta secondi conclusivi tra il contrabbasso del leader e gli armonici del sax di Vandermak chiudono degnamente un disco da assaporare e riassaporare.
http://italia.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=8737

Time Out Lisboa review by Jose Carlos Fernandes

CF 266Eric Revis’ 11:11 – Parallax (CF 266)
****
Quem conheça o contrabaixista Eric Revis das colaborações com Branford Marsalis e Jeff Watts, estranhará vê-lo neste quarteto 11:11 associado a três estrelas de galáxia bem diversa: Ken Vandermark, Jason Moran e Nasheet Waits.

Mas no jazz as distâncias enganam e o quarteto 11:11 dá boa conta de si. Aliás, é imbatível a gerar malhas rítmicas complexas: escute-se “Edgar”, uma dança hipnótica lançada pelo contrabaixo com arco, “Winnin’ Boy Blues”, com articulação tão intrincada que custa a crer que se trata de uma improvisação colectiva, e “Dark Net, uma composição de Michael Attias. A jóia da coroa é “Split”, um tema de Vandermark em que um groove elástico e saltitante, com precioso contributo de Moran, acaba por converter-se numa obsessão demoníaca.

emusic review by Britt Robson

CF 266Eric Revis 11:11, Parallax (CF 266)
It’s almost a shame Eric Revis is still best known as the longstanding bassist for the Branford Marsalis Quartet, because his own projects have been consistently meaty, masterful and stylistically multi-faceted. Parallax — his third disc as a leader, not counting the trio Tarbaby — is a bold, star-infused quartet date that deserves to be heard above all the year-end list-making hoopla surrounding its release.   Revis emerges as the guiding force among such dominant sidemen as pianist Jason Moran, Ken Vandermark on tenor and clarinet, and Nasheet Waits in the drummer’s chair. He stakes out the terrain with showcases that include a modulated blizzard of notes from his bow on the 80-second solo opener, “Prelusion”; agile plucking on the 102-second mid-disc solo, “Percival”; and the closing title track, an ominous and deliberate texture-contrast duet with Vandermark.

Revis challenges his supergroup in unique fashion by structuring “Celestial Hobo” around the individual musical reaction of each band member to a poem by Bob Kaufman. He and Waits build funhouse mirrors out of crazy-glue in their intrepid intros to two standards, raking and scratching for beats on Fats Waller’s “I’m Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter,” and lurching about like mimes pretending inebriation on Jelly Roll Morton’s “Winin’ Boy Blues.” And among Revis’s group compositions, “Edgar,” sports a marvelous stalk-swing groove that is by turns spooky and whimsical.

The sidemen deploy their enormous talents with bristling elegance, mixing brutish abandon with expertly honed restraint, so that the customary patterns of ensemble interplay are elevated and/or altered by extraordinary innovation. You hear it in the way Vandermark refuses to climax the tension of his high-wire clarinet solo on “MXR,” the way Waits swings the centrifugal force out to the periphery on the Waller tune, the two-handed gusto that Moran uses to both goad and waylay the groove on “IV,” and the distinct unison harmonies Moran and Vandermark wring out of their front-line tandem on many of the tracks. The two group improvisations are among the best of their kind that I’ve heard in recent years. “IV” is hard-bop rampaging through thorny rose bushes. “Hyperthral” lives up to its title, gradually escalating into shred-fest while Revis’s bass holds the ground with the ever-presence of an afternoon shadow. A “parallax” describes the displacement of an object viewed along two different lines of sight — an apt title for music with this many angles and ideas.
http://www.emusic.com/listen/#/music-news/review/album/eric-revis-1111-parallax/:

The New York Times review by Ben Ratliff

CF 266Eric Revis 11:11 – Parallax (CF 266)
The bassist Eric Revis likes to play strong and loud and is willing to cut across lines of style and tradition to satisfy his need. He’s done it in Branford Marsalis’s Quartet, one of this country’s top-billing jazz groups; in Tarbaby, a trio with the pianist Orrin Evans and the drummer Nasheet Waits; and in a trio led by the German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, with which he toured last year. That’s a pretty good range, from some baseline verities of the American jazz tradition to free improvising with art-brut appeal.

For his new album, “Parallax,” he’s found a new forum. Originally, for some 2009 New York club dates, he brought together a quartet with Ken Vandermark on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Jason Moran on piano, and Mr. Waits on drums.

This is good bridgework, particularly between Mr. Vandermark and Mr. Moran. Their worlds — in Chicago and New York — don’t overlap much. But they’re close enough. Both use compositional structures and organic group interplay and scholarship to experiment with jazz as a history and a process, revisiting old landmarks, shuffling tradition into new shapes. (They’re both MacArthur grant recipients, for those with scorecards.)

The music, rough and baleful, seems to have pretty old time-stamps on it, though. Much of “Parallax” sounds to me like the ’80s or early ’90s, reminiscent in passing of music by John Carter, Tim Berne, David S. Ware and many blended-together nights at the old Knitting Factory on Houston Street. It can sound like research into a variety of strategies: marches, groove, free rhythm; solo-bass features, sometimes double-tracked; blues language and collective improvisation; a Bob Kaufman poem interpreted variously in music by the band members; originals with small or jagged melodies and reworked old songs. (There are two pieces of old-time repertory: an emphatic, stomping version of Jelly Roll Morton’s “Winin’ Boy Blues” and a more indirect and wild paraphrasing of Fats Waller’s “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.”)

The record is searching for a partnership of sound, and so the action pulls toward Mr. Moran and Mr. Waits, who have one: they’ve played together for more than a decade and instinctively lock together through feel and dynamics. Some of the album’s thrills, like the tossing, tumbling passages in the middle of “Hyperthral,” “Split” and “IV,” are essentially theirs. Mr. Revis follows his own internal mandate to be stormy or forthright in his improvising, and so does Mr. Vandermark, but they can seem isolated within the project. The record’s a good idea, and a good start; the band needs more time to gestate.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/arts/music/the-game-eric-revis-and-ryan-blotnick-new-albums.html?_r=0