Tag Archives: Rudresh Mahanthappa

All About Jazz Italy review by Alberto Bazzurro

CF 279Mark Dresser Quintet – Nourishments (CF 279)
C’è il sax alto di Rudresh Mahanthappa a dettar legge nel brano che apre questo nuovo album del sessantunenne (il 26 settembre: auguri) bassista losangelino, per l’occasione alla testa di un quintetto ottimamente coeso entro cui si alternano due diversi batteristi. Ed è, quella di Mahanthappa, una voce iperaffermativa, viscerale, le cui scorribande solistiche (ma anche l’incidenza nei collettivi) segna massicciamente il lavoro, fino a farlo pendere qua e là fin troppo dalla sua parte. Il tratto è ora più colemaniano, ora più dolphyano (quindi più aspro, spigoloso), quando non berniano (per densità), elemento, quest’ultimo, che ritroviamo peraltro nelle stesse atmosfere globali del disco, nell’elemento più squisitamente compositivo, strutturale. Quando è per contro il plastico trombone di Michael Dessen a fare da boa, nello specifico ma qui pure anche come tratto più globale, già lo scenario muta, facendosi più colloquiale, rotondo. E ci sono poi le sezioni in cui il trio senza fiati rimane da solo a menare la danza, e tutto si smagrisce, si rarefa, si raffina, anche, col contrabbasso del leader (non di rado archettato) a fungere da catalizzatore.

Siamo partiti fissando questi paletti, perché di fatto l’intero album si sviluppa a grandi linee lungo tali direttrici, sia negli episodi più diretti che in quelli più compassati, come già i due che seguono l’iniziale “Not Withstanding,” vale a dire “Canales Rose” e “Para Waltz”. Più pieno, invece, “Nourishments,” aperto da un bel dialogo tra i due fiati, col collettivo che prende poi il sopravvento, non disdegnando, a centro brano, gustosi accenti monkiani.

La solidità di quest’ultimo episodio (ma di fatto dell’intero lavoro) si allarga al successivo “Aperitivo,” mentre un duetto Dessen/Dresser introduce “Rasa,” che poi si sviluppa su una sorta di anomalo, robusto contrappunto. Chiude il brano di tratto più berniano (con “Canales Rose”) del CD, “Telemojo,” sorta di ripasso delle architetture che già ci siamo premurati di evidenziare.

Disco senza fronzoli, solido – come si è già detto – e costruito con mano sicura. Composizioni tutte di Mark Dresser, in un caso (“Not Withstanding”) in coabitazione con Rudresh Mahanthappa.
http://italia.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=9422

Expresso review by João Santos

CF 279Mark Dresser Quintet – Nourishments (CF 279)
****
Mark Dresser possui um par de álbuns absolutamente inclassificáveis na Tzadik, que batizou como “Banquet” e “Marinade”. Entretanto, no início da década passada, em “Aquifer”, apresentava um tema denominado ‘Digestivo’. E o mínimo que se pode dizer é que, na aparência, este “Nourishments”, em que surge ‘Aperitivo’ ou uma dedicação ao chef Paul Canales – que, após 15 anos no restaurante Oliveto, inaugurou este ano o Duende, ainda em Oakland, privilegiando uma agenda de música improvisada ao vivo no acompanhamento da degustação dos seus pratos –, prossegue uma peculiar preocupação com aquilo que, no limite, anima o trato gastrintestinal. O gesto é eminentemente alegórico. E outra coisa não sugere a natureza-morta de Floris van Dyck reproduzida na capa deste CD, que, a pretexto de retratar um comum pequeno-almoço holandês (c. 1610) encena antes uma liturgia eucarística: atente-se à simbologia transubstancial do copo de vinho, do cacho de uvas ou do pão, repare-se na toalha de mesa branca e no queijo em alusão ao período da Quaresma, na maçã cortada em referência ao pecado original, etc. Ou seja, também Dresser aparece aqui numa surpreendente adesão a um rigoroso conjunto de princípios estéticos e regras composicionais – no caso, do jazz –, naquele que, amiúde toldado por uma capacidade de síntese ligeiramente aquém da ideal, se revela um registo essencial na sua discografia. Dir-se-á que no estelar consórcio que reuniu está a razão para tão grande sucesso – à exceção de Michael Sarin, que alterna a posição com Tom Rainey, os restantes elementos do quinteto, Denman Maroney, Rudresh Mahanthappa e Michael Dessen, lideram projetos noutras edições da Clean Feed. Mas a verdade é que tudo depende destas peças de corajosa construção rítmica, inusitado sentido de estrutura e memorável disposição melódica.

Time Out Lisboa review by Jose Carlos Fernandes

Um banquete para o espírito

A editora lisboeta Clean Feed continua, indiferente a crises económicas e colapsos do mercado discográfico, a propor acepipes raros. José Carlos Fernandes degustou três lançamentos recentes e ficou confortado

A dimensão de um grupo de jazz nem sempre decorre de opções estéticas ou da disponibilidade e empatia dos músicos – as condicionantes económicas também pesam e, sobretudo no jazz mais afastado do mainstream, dificultam seriamente a sobrevivência prolongada de formações com mais de três ou quatro elementos. É pois com redobrado interesse que se acolhem três discos que dão testemunho da riqueza de combinações que os quintetos e sextetos permitem.

CF 279O contrabaixista Mark Dresser tem uma obra em nome próprio desproporcionadamente breve (quando se atende ao seu enorme talento e experiência) e que é dominada por discos a solo, em duo e em trio. Nourishments (****), gravado por um super-quinteto com Rudresh Mahanthappa (sax), Michael Dessen (trombone), Denman Maroney (piano) e Tom Rainey ou Michael Sarin (bateria), é, pois, peça invulgar. A variedade e generosidade prometidas na recheada mesa da capa são mais que cumpridas no interior: as ideias que desfilam ao longo dos 14 minutos de “Canales Rose” bastariam para sustentar toda a carreira de muitos músicos de jazz que, apesar do prestígio e dos Grammies coleccionados, se limitam a repetir receitas consabidas. Em “Nourishments” Mahanthappa e Dessen engalfinham-se em vertiginosas perseguições sobre secção rítmica ondulante, “Para Waltz” é sereno e melancólico, com Dresser a mostrar a sua arte com o arco, e em “Not Withstanding” o piano preparado de Maroney zumbe como um insecto gigante.

CF 280Depois de construir impressionante currículo como sidemen, o trompetista Nate Wooley estreou-se em quinteto em 2011 com (Put Your) Hands Together. O sexteto que agora se estreia com (Sit In) The throne of friendship (****) não se limita a somar Dan Peck (tuba) a Josh Sinton (clarinete baixo), Matt Moran (vibrafone), Eivind Opsvik (contrabaixo) e Harris Eisenstadt (bateria). As composições e arranjos ganham imenso em elaboração, os instrumentos são emparelhados em combinações invulgares, a tensão e distensão são sabiamente controladas e o resultado exibe uma variedade de cores e texturas dignas de uma orquestra. O CD arranca com uma inspirada recriação do meloso “Old Man On the Farm”, de Randy Newman, que vai sendo tomado pela abrasão e pelo caos; em “Make Your Friend Feel Loved” um post-bop zombeteiro é sequestrado pelo sax barítono de Sinton e convertido numa correria desencabrestada; “My Story, My Story”, é uma ilha brumosa e estática na efervescência dominante.

CF 270Ches Smith & These Arches passaram em 2011 pelo Seixal Jazz e quem não foi ouvi-los ficará arrependido ao escutar Hammered (*****), o segundo disco da formação, que passou, entretanto, a quinteto pela adição do sax alto de Tim Berne. Qualquer grupo gostaria de ter Berne ou Tony Malaby (sax tenor) nas suas fileiras, mas These Arches tem os dois e ainda a guitarra imprevisível de Mary Halvorson, o acordeão e electrónica multiformes de Andrea Parkins e, claro, a bateria irrequieta do líder. Na faixa de abertura, “Frisner”, as fanfarras dementes sobre ritmos quebrados sucumbem à psicose e à adstringência, mas acabam por retomar o tom jocoso, “Wilson Phillip” é a banda sonora de um filme de acção on acid, que acaba por descarrilar e desmantelar-se, a faixa-título é uma máquina implacável propulsionada por riffs demolidores. Que os turbilhões cacofónicos que cruzam a paisagem de Hammered não iludam o ouvinte desatento: esta loucura tem método  e as constantes mudanças de ritmo, colorido e humor são traçadas em papel milimétrico.

Três discos que permitem descobrir travos e aromas diferentes a cada nova degustação.

The New York City Jazz Record review by Ken Waxman

CF 279Mark Dresser Quintet – Nourishments (CF 279)
Bassist Mark Dresser is known for his stunning ability to interpret the most advanced notated and improvised music. However, on his first quintet date in decades, he shows he can compose affecting and swinging music without neglecting his matchless technique.

While the line up of trombone, alto saxophone, piano, bass and drums may sound standard, each sideman is so accomplished 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 exposein-and-outside-the-frame multiphonics along with expected patterns. Alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, who co-wrote “Not Withstanding” with Dresser, has a knowledge of Carnatic music that helps him negotiate the shimmering changes of the leader’s“Rasaman”, which honors 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.

The players intertwine their parts, interjecting tone extensions without losing the tunes’ thematic threads, as on the time-signature shifting “Rasaman”. Dessen’s wide-ranging plunger tones dovetail with Dresser’s stentorian slaps, Mahanthappa heading into screech mode alongside the bassist’s spiccato scratches as contrapuntal lines churn beneath them. A little bit Latin, a little bit boppish, the title track demonstrates Dresser’s compositional sophistication as players simultaneously tease variations from the melodic line. His chunky solos serve as bridges between slurred trombone and honking sax flutters, referencing Mingus’ writing and faint echoes of “Played Twice” as well as devious recaps of the tune’s head. “Para Waltz” is an exemplar of group interaction as Rainey’s drumbeats behind harmonized horns maintain a relaxed feel, seconded by Maroney’s keyboard rhythms. At the same time the pianist’s string preparations spice the narrative with unsettling microtones.

Dresser’s piquant asides, plus the other ingredients used his compositional recipe book, help provide the musical nourishment for this key session.

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

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!
http://www.criticaljazz.com/2013/07/mark-dresser-quintet-nourishments-clean.html

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.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=44954#.Ue5GbBaPvG4