Tag Archives: Transit

Squid’s Ear review by Kurt Gottschalk

Transit – Quadrologues (CF 143)
There’s something pleasantly round about the music made by the quartet Transit. The group’s conjures notions of transportation, but their music feels more vehicular, more about the means of movement than some application of the old jazz saw of “going places.” They are more like a close shot on the “going” itself — more gerund than noun.

Drummer Jeff Arnal assembled the band for the 2006 release Transit (in time-tested fashion, the first album’s title becomes the name of the band) and here they hone their approach, tighten their focus, amplify their intent. Despite their base of operation, and even their naming a track for New York’s subway system (“Z train”), they seem more akin to Montreal’s smaller underground transit with it’s big, spoke wheels and rubber tires. The Métro de Montréal trains move more quietly, and invite observation of their means of movement, whereas the Z train hides its tiny, noisy wheels behind a skirt of metal. The Métro invites us to gaze upon its wheels, the roundness, the spokes, the mechanics. They move, they blur, they slow, they stop, their big bicycle wheels doing yeoman’s work. There’s something deceptive about them: the rubber tires so puncturable, the spokes too thin, it seems they’d break under the weight of hundreds of commuters, a split axle in the middle of the tracks like a child’s toy racecar, immobilized and never to be repaired.

But the Métro doesn’t stop in its tracks, and neither does this quartet, a classic “pianoless” ensemble à la Ornette. They are, they seem, sturdy, round and spoked. Reuben Radding’s bass at times rumbles to speaker-shaking depths behind an exciting horn section of shining star Nate Wooley on trumpet and Seth Misterka, a saxophonist deserving of much more notice. Together, they are in flux, in constant motion, in tempos more like undulating waves than machine guns or woodpeckers. They slow and speed up again (wait, make that more like a local train than an express!) with interconnections (spokes) happening more quickly sometimes than the ear (eye) can make out. The ten tracks seem to move past without pause, changing within as much as between. An exciting sort of dialogue, or quadrologue, spokes, bespoken.

Cadence Magazine review by Jerome Wilson

Transit – Quadrologues (CF 143)
The group Transit contains musicians such as Reuben Radding and Nate Wooley, who are known for doing more abstract music, but here the four men work together to form a powerhouse group sound. Seth Misterka’s alto and Wooley’s trumpet are consistently powerful whether pealing out lyrical melodies or spitting intense whispers. But it’s the rhythm section of bassist Radding and drummer Jeff Arnal that really holds it all together with deep, thudding rhythms in the energy sections of this work and enveloping cymbal and bow work on the quiet parts. “Flip” features shuddering sax and trumpet over rattling bass and drums that resolves into vocalized alto phrases. And “Walking On Fire” is hair-raising group shouting. “Speaking In Tongues” best shows the group’s strengths with Wooley crying forlornly in semi-Arabic wails over Arnal’s and Radding’s rubbery beats with Misterka oozing through the cracks. Transit is a band that shows a potent blend of exoticism and power.
©Cadence Magazine 2010 www.cadencebuilding.com

Le Son du Grisli review by Guillaume Belhomme

Transit – Quadrologues (CF 143)
Et la même invention, aussi : dans le déploiement d’une musique en équilibre toujours précaire et qui fait de son état vacillant le premier de ses atouts (Strata), sur l’air latin flirtant avec le minimalisme de Walking on Fire ou encore sur de lentes progressions affirmant davantage au fil des secondes, jusqu’à changer une mollesse d’abord revendiquée en morceau d’épaisseur irrésistible (Meeting Ground, The Science of Breath). Jusqu’au bout, Transit invente en quartette vigoureux mais distant, si ce n’est en conclusion, sur Myrtle Avenue Revival, pièce dont le free fantasque évoque Don Cherry (Wooley aux avant postes) histoire de finir sur un grand hommage. http://www.lesondugrisli.com/

EJazz news review by Glenn Astarita

CF 143Transit – Quadrologues (CF 143)
The second offering by this New York City based quartet is largely assembled upon an abundance of intriguing tonal contrasts, where progressive and free-jazz translucently merge into a coherent group-centric sound. Designed with layers, and climactic theme building maneuvers, the hornists’ generate soaring and frenetic phrasings atop levitating motifs, tinged with minimalist exchanges and weaving lines.

They transmit an emotive gait that touches your senses in various ways and means. At times, alto saxophonist Seth Misterka and trumpeter Nate Wooley render haunting sub-plots, driven home by drummer Jeff Arnal’s rolling tom patterns. Yet the musicians temper the flows via soft overtones, and a few concise nods to world music. No doubt, this is not a one-dimensional outfit.

With bustling metrics and spiraling horns, the musicians also plunge into a bit of crash and burn fare on the avant-jazz romp titled “Meeting Ground,” where Misterka’s popping notes, communicate a sense of urgency. Otherwise, the respective performers are well-known within global jazz and improvisation circles due to their extensive solo and group-led discographies. Hence, the synergy here becomes evident early on and further evidenced by the whirling ostinato and circular passages executed on the memorable “Speaking In Tongues.” In sum, it’s an entertainingly divergent and persuasive string of musical events.

Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

CF 143Transit – Quadrologues (CF 143)
Quadrologues es la segunda grabación del cuarteto neoyorkino Transit en Clean Feed. Tal y como ocurría en su primera obra, que tomaba como título el nombre del grupo -o viceversa, ¡quién sabe!-, estos cuatro músicos vuelven a publicar un CD con diez piezas. Con una duración media inferior a cinco minutos, únicamente tres de ellas superan los siete minutos de duración.

Huyendo de los esquemas usuales, los temas comienzan por lo general de un modo suave a partir de las notas lanzadas por uno o a lo sumo dos de los integrantes del cuarteto, especialmente por parte de la trompeta de Nate Wooley o el saxo de Seth Misterka. A partir de ese material el cuarteto va construyendo unas composiciones instantáneas en las que los cuatro músicos combinan elementos estructurales y expresivos pertenecientes fundamentalmente a la tradición de la libre improvisación y del free-jazz, pero en la que también incorporan aromas provinientes del bop o de una cierta forma de entender la música étnica. Sin embargo, por encima de etiquetas o categorizaciones, es un placer para los oidos disfrutar de un discurso creativo en el que los elementos más importante son el diálogo y la interacción entre los cuatro músicos.