martes, 27 de septiembre de 2016

Tim Berne's Snakeoil - Anguis Oleum (2016)



The last time we heard from the masterful Snakeoil, it was on 2015’s You’ve Been Watching Me, a widely-acclaimed recording that perfectly captured the sizzling, enigmatic energy of Berne’s quartet. Anguis Oleum, their newest release, was originally paired with Berne and artist Steve Byram’s limited-edition collection of drawings and photographs, Spare. Now, it’s available for download on the Snakeoil Bandcamp page, and everyone can get a taste of what this group sounds like when it loosens the reins a bit. Anguis Oleum is not actually a collection of all-new compositions, but a live recording - it contains a couple of pieces that have previously appeared within Snakeoil’s studio output, as well as some unreleased material. As on You’ve Been Watching Me, Snakeoil consists of Berne on alto saxophone, Oscar Noriega on clarinet and bass clarinet, Matt Mitchell on piano, and Ches Smith on percussion. Guitarist Ryan Ferreira is nowhere to be found, unfortunately, but the rest of the players more than makeup for his absence.

The opening composition, “Deadbeat Beyonce,” is one of those that was previously unrecorded. It opens with a lovely run by Matt Mitchell, notes cascading over one another and gradually increasing in both intensity and complexity. After four minutes, the reeds join in with intricate figures that are instantly recognizable as coming from Berne’s compositional toolkit - minor-key, tense, and suggestive of a convoluted system of alleys in a bleak metropolis. As it unfolds, “Deadbeat Beyonce” gives way to a wild fervor; Berne is practically shooting flames from his alto, and Ches Smith pounds with an unbridled force that is particularly striking when compared to the restraint he exhibits at the beginning of the track. Even in their fiercest moments, however, the members of Snakeoil maintain a certain rigidity, a disciplined single-mindedness. The passage through the alleys may be winding, with sudden shifts and unexplained detours, but the destination is clear. At one point, it seems that the piece will close with Mitchell’s twinkling keys and Noriega’s wounded bird-calls, but that’s just a misdirect: the group come together in one last eruption, one that swells, sinks, then swells again, eventually coming to an abrupt close.

“Spare Parts” moves at a slower pace than “Deadbeat Beyonce,” taking its time to develop and stretch out. In the composition’s opening minutes, Ches Smith is on vibraphone, which is admittedly the perfect instrument to accompany the noir-ish sound-worlds that Berne constructs. As Smith taps the vibes and Noriega moves through a series of labyrinthine shapes, one can’t help but re-imagine that shadowy metropolis, steam rising from the gutters and streets perpetually soaked in rain. After some time, Smith is back on the drums, Mitchell comes in with his expressive, dramatic chord-changes, and Berne is blowing with his icy fire - a sound that is simultaneously fervent and frigid, searing and cool. “Lamé 3” is a shorter piece, but it somehow condenses the cinematic scope of the longer compositions into eight minutes - there are twists, turns, unfettered peaks, and trembling moments of tension. Also, some of the players here hit their stride: at one point, Ches Smith abandons all pretensions towards restraint and just pummels his kit. Likewise, Berne engages in a short stretch of insanity that was somewhat surprising at first; instead of that cool reservation that he typically exhibits, he practically screams with his alto saxophone, sending the track into the stratosphere.

“Oc - Dc” is the final piece here, as well as being the longest. Here, the group shows off their marvelous sense of interplay, with an almost lighthearted exchange of notes - melodies that bounce off of each other, diffract, and inexplicably change shapes as the composition moves forward. That lightheartedness is refreshing, especially in the context of Snakeoil; with this group, Berne has primarily delved into tones and textures that are on the “bleaker” side of things, and the pieces can occasionally feel airless. That airlessness is not necessarily a bad thing - in fact, it might be required in order to convey the atmosphere that the group wants us to hear. Thus, despite the fact that many Snakeoil compositions seem to work with “one note” (serpentine, minor-key, filmic), that note is played exceedingly well, and Snakeoil scratch a musical itch that no other groups can. Anguis Oleum is proof that, among Tim Berne’s manifold projects, Snakeoil is the most consistent and the most fully-developed. Now we wait for the studio follow-up to You’ve Been Watching Me!


01. Deadbeat Beyonce 21:24
02. Spare Parts 18:55
03. Lamé 3 08:34
04. Oc - Dc 24:31

Tim Berne - Alto Saxophone 
Oscar Noriega - Clarinet, Bass Clarinet 
Matt Mitchell - Piano 
Ches Smith - Drums, Percussion


Mats Eilertsen - Rubicon (2016) ECM


Norwegian bassist Mats Eilertsen has been a strong and supportive presence on a dozen ECM sessions to date. With Rubicon he steps forward to present his own music, with an international cast. The album features compositions originally written in response to a commission from the Vossajazz Festival. All About Jazz reviewed the premiere performance: “Rubicon proved to be a very dynamic work. Eilertsen ensured that each of the instrumentalists took their share of the spotlight, brought together combinations of players that emphasized tonal variation, and created ensemble sections bursting with life.” After fine-tuning the material on tour, Mats brought his septet to Oslo’s Rainbow Studio, where Manfred Eicher produced this definitive version of Rubicon in May 2015.


Canto
Cross the Creek
March
Balky
Lago
BluBlue
Wood and Water
September
Reminiscent
Introitus

Trygve Seim: tenor and soprano saxophones
Eirik Hegdal: soprano, baritone sax, clarinet and bass clarinet
Thomas Dahl: guitar
Rob Waring: marimba and vibraphone
Harmen Fraanje: piano, Fender Rhodes
Olavi Louhivuori: drums




Playlist Summary for Tom Ossana: The Thin Edge – September 28, 2016 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m.


http://www.kzmu.org/listen.m3u ~ Use this link to access the show online.


http://www.kzmu.org/listen.m3u ~ Use this link to access the show online.



Ethan Iverson - The Purity of the Turf (2016) CRISS CROSS RECORDS




The Purity of the Turf is kind of a "bucket list" moment for Ethan Iverson, who has always wanted to make a record with famous bassist Ron Carter.

Iverson, pianist of the famous trio "The Bad Plus", chose drummer Nasheet Waits to fill out the trio, because Waits represents the avant-garde as well as swing.

Criss Cross records are level playing field, with everyone recording in the same studio in a single day: Thus the sporting title, "The Purity of the Turf".

The repertoire is mostly originals and jazz classics. A surprise highlight is the solo piano tribute to the late Paul Bley, "So Hard it Hurts" by Annette Peacock.

01. The Purity Of The Turf (Ethan Iverson)  4:31
02. Song For My Father (Horace Silver)  5:19
03. Darn That Dream (Jimmy Van Heusen / Edgar DeLange)  4:43
04. Along Came Betty (Benny Golson)  5:45
05. Graduation Day (Ethan Iverson)  3:33
06. Confirmation (Charlie Parker)  6:14
07. Kush (Nasheet Waits)  5:35
08. Sent For You Yesterday (Count Basie / Eddie Durham)  4:55
09. Strange Serenade (Andrew Hill)  4:23
10. Little Waltz (Ron Carter)  5:01
11. Einbahnstrasse (Ron Carter)  5:10
12. So Hard It Hurts (Annette Peacock)  3:18

Ethan Iverson, piano
Ron Carter, bass
Nasheet Waits, drums