Tag Archives: Michael Moore

All About Jazz review by Robert Bush

CF 279Mark Dresser Quintet – Nourishments (CF 279)
Mark Dresser has risen to the very upper echelon of the double-bass world in the most impressive fashion: by choosing the road less traveled. His path of virtuosity has eschewed the conventional metrics of velocity over changes in favor of the development of a highly personal improvising language that includes timbre gradients, two-handed tapping, use of hammered bi-tones, and the amplification of subtle overtones of striking aural properties.

He returns to explore ensemble music under his own leadership with this new recording of his long-standing East Coast Quintet featuring Denman Maroney on “hyper-piano” ( a variant on the prepared piano—extended to the highest degree), Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto saxophone, Michael Dessen on trombone, with either Tom Rainey or Michael Sarin filling the drum chair.

Exploding with intensity, “Not Withstanding,” lurches forward on the wings of Dresser’s “metric-modulation” concept, which uses shifting meters while maintaining a pulse of 1- 2-3-4 to affect the illusion of a constantly speeding and slowing tempo. Mahanthappa attacks the form with palpable glee as Dresser power walks from here to eternity. Dessen rips, roars, and brays before yielding to the remarkable “slide-piano” of Maroney which challenges sonic expectations. Rainey is all over this with cycling waves of kinetic energy and supreme dynamic control. Finally, Dresser emerges—dueting with the sound of his own voice hissing for a solo that toggles between multi-glissandi and thunderous thwacking.

There are contemplative moments as well, such as the pensive 12 tone “Canales Rose,” where Maroney’s otherworldly piano melds with Dessen’s wounded lion trombone, or the gorgeous ballad “Para Waltz,” with its lush horn melody that gives birth to a yearning exposition by Dessen and a heartbreaking Dresser feature with the bow.

The slinky, odd-metered groove of the title track features layered melodic flourishes by Dessen and Mahanthappa and showcases another quality of this music—the blurring of what is written and improvised. The drums of Sarin balance explosive motion with shimmering colors before Dresser’s bow signals a sudden shift in direction into a theme reminiscent of Monk’s “Misterioso.”

“Aperitivo,” is a blues stood on its head with metric-modulation, where horn unisons and a piano counter-melody set the stage for Mahanthappa’s shredding effervescence, Dessen’s warbled, bluesy vibrato, and Maroney’s multifaceted spin at the “standard- piano.” Dresser follows with an undulating update on the “Detroit,” solo, using time itself as source material.

Challenging and joyful, “Nourishments” embraces tradition while extending it, and balances precise compositional deliberation with effusive improvisation.

Jazzreview review by Glenn Astarita

Eric Boeren 4tet – Song For Tracy – Live at Jazz Brugge 2004 (CF 186)
Cornetist Eric Boeren leads his Dutch quartet with a crisp, compact and expressive sound through a program that toggles between inventive bop, free-bop and avant expressionism on this live date recorded in 2004. With legendary British drummer Paul Lovens garnering the most out of his sparse kit and generating a sparky underpinning, the program is underscored by contrasting tones and a vibrant stance.  Lovens and superfine bassist Wilbert de Joode literally have the beat on dynamics throughout the oscillating ebbs and flows.

Boeren steers an exploration mission, yet the differentiator is that the musicians align and take full control along the way with a stylistic flair that yields the winning formula.  The quartet works through unorthodox time signatures and elicits imagery of a bustling metropolis on Coleman’s “Moon Inhabitants.”  And Moore tempers the flow via his buttery sax parts.  Yet on other pieces such as Boeren’s spicy bop gala “Fuzzaphony,” the musicians render a jubilant mid-tempo groove, tinged with a touch of Coleman’s harmolodic sensibilities. Therefore, Boeren leads a world-class ensemble as the end results prove to be quite rewarding.

Jazzword review by Ken Waxman

Eric Boeren Quartet – Song for Tracy the Turtle – Live in Brugge 2004 (CF 186)Translating a profound appreciation for alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s 1960s quartet music into something more, Dutch cornetist Eric Boeren expands the structures so the performances reflect the Zunder Zee as much as the Texas Panhandle. Playing both his own tunes and Coleman’s, the brass man also calls on his sidemen’s skills to create more than a Coleman ghost band.

In actuality, since Michael Moore’s clarinet playing seems more personal than his alto saxophone solos, blending the straight horn with Boeren’s cornet produces a sound closer to that of two other Texans – reedist John Carter and cornetist Bobby Bradford – then that of the legendary Coleman Four.

Of course Carter was a long-time friend of Coleman’s and Bradford was part of the alto saxophonist’s band in the early 1970s. Furthermore, over the years, Coleman has adapted his quirky compositions to varied situations, and Ulicoten-born Boeren follows this lead. Each quartet members is sympathetically cooperative as well as suffiently virtuosic. Bassist Wilbert de Joode, for instance, has worked with players as different as pianist Michel Braam and saxophonist Frank Gratkowski. Californian-turned Amsterdamer Moore leads Available Jelly and is in the ICP Orchestra. Boeren gigs with Jelly and Braam’s large groups among many others; and drummer Paul Lovens – pinch-hitting for Han Bennink – has been a Free Music activist since the 1970s playing with everyone from bassist Joëlle Léandre to saxophonist Evan Parker.

Prime example of this skill-blending occurs on the final “Squirrel Feet/The Legend of Bebop” which blends a Coleman and a Boeren tune. Balanced on de Joode’s methodically bowed then plucked strings, the vamping horns recall Bop as much as the New Thing. Following an interlude with Moore expanding the jerky theme with air rasps, the transition section is subtly harmonized. Fluttering contralto saxophone and plunger brass triplets are backed by rattles, pops and jumps from Lovens, plus snaps and dips from the bassist. Finally the child-like Coleman line is smeared away with closely-paced snaps and dips from de Joode and an off-kilter call-and-response horn part.

Instructively enough, the most Coleman-like piece is “Free”, which is ostensibly a free improv but replicates the 1961 Coleman Quartet sound to a T. Boeren plays what could a bugle call charge; Moore offers up multiphonic flutter-tonguing; de Joode picks and plucks and Lovens smacks, ruffs and flams. The tune directly follows Boeren’s own “Charmes” which also has Calvary charge brass inferences as well as tongue-fluttering. Any turns towards legato are nipped later as Moore squeaks stridently and extends slurs while the cornetist bubbles and blasts.

This lyrical vs. atonal tension is maintained throughout the CD. Even the title tune meanders from an uncomplicated muted intermezzo with melodic cornet lines and Moore sounding as if he’s playing a variant on “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” to tauter passages. Here the diminishing wispy timbres from Boeren and Moore’s tremolo wiggles are kept afloat by Lovens’ rolls and de Joode’s walking to link with the backbeat-driven tune, “A Fuzzphony”.

Overall the quartet members pull off the difficult task of honoring a revered elder’s music without losing track of their own identities that have been assiduously honed over the years.

Time Out Lisboa review by Jose Carlos Fernandes

Eric Boeren 4tet – Song for Tracy the Turtle (CF 186)

A dedicatária poderá ser uma tartaruga (na capa aparece um cágado) mas o espírito que paira sobre as águas do charco é o de Ornette Coleman. A formação – corneta, saxofone, contrabaixo e bateria – é a dos quartetos “clássicos” de Ornette, há três temas e meio de Ornette circa 1960 e os temas originais de Boeren são afins dos do Mestre.
No tema-título, um swing descontraído alterna com bulhas de cães e gatos, no tema de fecho, o solo de Boeren evoca uma gata no cio. As intromissões de outros animais são bem-vindas, já que tartarugas e similares são animais pouco faladores. A Tracy ganhou um disco que equilibra ingenuidade retro-bop e traquinice free, quase sempre com um sorriso zombeteiro, mas que revisita “Memories of You” de forma sentida.

All About Jazz Italy review by Maurizio Comandini

Eric Boeren – Song for Tracy the Turtle (CF 186)
Ornette Coleman è sempre stata la fonte di ispirazione dichiarata per Eric Boeren e per la sua cornetta. In particolar modo lo è l’Ornette degli inizi o, per meglio dire, del periodo reso immortale dai dischi pubblicati dall’Atlantic.
Anche questo album, ricavato dalla registrazione radiofonica di un concerto che si era tenuto a Bruges alla fine di maggio del 2004, si trova ad essere a cavallo fra la musica di Ornette e il buon free europeo che si è sviluppato nel Vecchio Continente sin dagli anni sessanta. In realtà questo concerto era andato a finire nel dimenticatoio ma è stato poi riscoperto, un po’ per caso, grazie ad un vecchio compagno di scuola che incrociò Eric ad Anversa a fine settembre del 2008. Il tutto è raccontato in maniera divertente dallo stesso Boeren nelle note di copertina.

Il repertorio mischia sapientemente brani originali di Boeren (comunque ispirati ad Ornette e a Don Cherry), brani di Ornette Coleman e uno standard immarcescibile e romantico come “Memories of You” del pianista Eubie Blake. Al fianco di Boeren troviamo l’ottimo Michael Moore col suo sax alto e il suo clarinetto decisamente poco ornettiani, ma allo stesso tempo perfettamente inseriti nel contesto, il bravo bassista Wilbert de Joode e il veterano batterista Paul Lovens, sempre pronto a fornire il suo geniale apporto ritmico alle situazioni free europee più interessanti.

La presa di suono è decisamente buona e il quartetto si esprime con il giusto mix fra abbandono e lucidità che caratterizza i concerti più riusciti. C’è una sorta di straniamento di prospettiva dovuta probabilmente al fatto che Eric Boeren è un cornettista alla testa di un gruppo che si rifa ad un quartetto storico guidato invece da un saxofonista dalla forte personalità. Ma questo è solo un dettaglio che non provoca alcun decadimento nella qualità complessiva.

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Eric Boeren 4tet – Song for Tracy the Turtle, Live In Brugge 2004 (CF 186)
Eric Boeren plays a nice cornet. He is in the free zone but looks backward to bop and what came after as much as he looks ahead. His compadres for Song for Tracy the Turtle (Clean Feed 186) are well chosen and certainly well-known in free improv circles. There’s Michael Moore on alto and clarinet, Wilbert de Joode on contrabass, and Paul Lovens on drums. The date was well-recorded, live at Jazz Brugge 2004.

They have an early-Ornette Coleman quartet sound about them, tempered by where they have been and what they are as players. And they do three of Ornette’s numbers, as well as one by Eubie Blake. The rest are Eric’s pleasing originals. It’s delightful music. Now it may not set the world on fire, but it shows all concerned in a good place, playing well. It is good to hear this group! Check them out.

Chicago Reader review by Peter Margasak

Eric Boeren Quartet – Song for tracy the Turtle Live in Brugge 2004 (CF 186)
The music of Ornette Coleman occupies a special place in the imagination of Eric Boeren. The dynamic Dutch cornetist writes original tunes that share the puckish melodic sensibility and uncontained joy of Coleman’s music, and he often covers Coleman outright—there are two of the master’s songs, for instance, on the excellent new Song for Tracy the Turtle—Live at Jazz Brugge 2004 (Clean Feed). But Boeren is no mere copycat or tribute artist. A key fixture on the Amsterdam scene, he brings elements of Coleman’s aesthetic to the loosey-goosey, quick-change approach pioneered by Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink in the ICP Orchestra. His terrific quartet, which released its first album in ’97, uses set lists that are really more like clusters of tunes—the musicians decide which number to play when (and at what point to jump to the next one) on the fly. Boeren has a seemingly telepathic connection with his brilliant front-line partner, reedist Michael Moore, and the rhythm section—muscular bassist Wilbert de Joode and, on Song for Tracy the Turtle, German free-jazz drummer Paul Lovens—goes from cushioning the horns with a spry bounce to blowing open the sonic space with an eruption of clatter. (Lovens, who in the early 70s helped define the noisy, gestural, unmetered style that’s now common in free improvisation, proves here that the roots of his radical technique lie in his understanding of the ebb and flow of swing.) The horn players tangle and untangle, sometimes sliding into new song by teasing bits of its melody out of the sweet-and-sour harmonies and jagged counterpoint of their ongoing improvisation. Other times the transitions are sudden—the segue from the title track into “A Fuzzphony” is a single graceful leap—but their logic feels totally natural even when it’s impossible to see them coming. For these rare Chicago shows the quartet will play not with Lovens but with its regular drummer, the inimitable Han Bennink. See also Sunday at Hungry Brain.