jueves, 27 de noviembre de 2014

James Davis' Beveled - Beveled (2014)

Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Chicago trumpeter James Davis did well in choosing the name “Beveled” for his new sextet: the compositions are carefully etched, with subtle angles and incisions, and the unique instrumentation surrounds them with layered depth. It’s the equivalent of carved wood frames in warm colors. (Their debut album, also named Beveled, doesn’t drop till  next week, but Davis will have copies on hand at the CD-release show this Friday at Constellation.) In this band, Davis forgoes the trumpet for its mellow cousin, the flugelhorn – then adds another flugel and two bass clarinets, for an ensemble sound that’s burnished and bosky: shaded copper with an ebony edge. This instrumentation is unique, to my knowledge, in recorded instrumental music, but it suits Davis’s own approach to improvising, which he has displayed in various bands since he arrived in Chicago a decade or so ago. (Those bands include the electrified quintet Zing!; groups led by Matt Ulery and Grazyna Auguscik; several big bands; and a couple of other small groups under his own leadership.)
Davis’s style stands in sharp contrast to the current “Chicago trumpet sound, as exemplified by such artists as Orbert Davis (no relation), Pharez Whitted, and young Marquis Hill, who recently won the annual Thelonious Monk Competition. Instead of heated lines and swaggering sound, Davis’s solos remain slightly guarded, almost reticent, with plenty of space in his melodies and a timbre steeped in earth tones – much the way his namesake, Miles Davis (again, no relation), offered an alternative to the hard-bop muscle of the 1950s. The strength of his style lies in its reserve.  Read more...

1. Inward Gaze - part 1 05:14
2. Inward Gaze - part 2 07:38
3. Flight Path 07:15
4. Beveled 04:09
5. Flou 07:18
6. Chimes 03:01
7. Impending Doom 06:58
8. Lope 06:24
9. Afterglow 11:10

James Davis - flugelhorn (featured trk 2, 5, 8)
Chad McCullough - flugelhorn (featured trk 3, 7)
Michael Salter - bass clarinet (featured trk 2, 3, 8)
Anna Najoom - bass clarinet
Daniel Thatcher - double bass (featured trk 1, 5)
Juan Pastor - drums (featured trk 3)

"The most important thing I look for in a musician,
 is whether he knows how to listen."
  - Duke Ellington - 


Omelette - On This Day (2014)

Omelette is an ensemble that features such seasoned performers as Jordan Murray (trombone), Stephen Magnusson (guitar), Mark Shepherd (bass), Ronny Ferella (drums) that it really doesn’t get much better than this.

With much shared musical history the Quartet enjoy the opportunity to shape their unique repertoire into a seamless musical journey keeping themselves open to play with no expectation.

The music of Omelette pivots between written and improvised music-making.  The ensemble feel the written serves to suggest a direction, feeling or colour, the improvised to see this idea and sound to the next one and so on. Although influenced by all the music listened to there is a nod to the folk music traditions of East and West Africa, Persia and Cuba, Miles Davis, Tony Allen and Ornette Coleman.

Omelette hear this as their folk music, made in the moment.  On This Day is a wonderfully lush sound recording performed by exceptional players. Really, don’t miss it.

01. One For Four 04:39
02. Esteban 04:25
03. There You Have It 05:55
04. Astral 08:39
05. Trench Coat 04:25
06. Paris Texas Coburg 06:49
07. Jimmy Can Jump 08:05
08. Temporal Slave 06:39
09. You What? 07:06
10. Wave Rider 10:46
11. Love You Long Time 10:50
12. Not Strict 07:20
13. Who's To Know 06:59
14. Knock Yourself Out 10:06
15. Dance of the Woebegone 08:45
16. Pulse 08:34

Jordan Murray (trombone)
Stephen Magnusson (guitar)
Mark Shepherd (bass)
Ronny Ferella (drums)

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins