Kaja Draksler, upright pianos; Petter Eldh, bass; Christian Lillinger, drums, percussion
Intakt 353 (CD). 2021. Kaja Draksler, Petter Eldh, Christian Lillinger, prods.; Martin Waschkowitsch, eng.
There’s quite a bit to unpack with Punkt.Vrt.Plastik, however doing so does not really feel like a battle. Sadly, doing so does not fairly make issues crystal clear.
First the identify. “Punkt” is Swedish for dot. “Vrt” is Slovenian for “backyard.” “Plastik” is German for “plastic.” The three phrases characterize the nationalities of the three gamers: bassist Petter Eldh, pianist Kaja Draksler, and drummer Christian Lillinger. The album’s title, Somit, interprets as “consequently.”
If that is all vaguely suggestive whereas remaining intriguingly confounding, then we’re heading in the right direction. Punkt.Vrt.Plastik is a piano trio. Somit appears like jazz, however once more, it isn’t as straightforward as that. The attract is in the best way the sounds sound.
What leaps out first on Somit are Kaja Draksler’s pianos. She performs two, each uprights. She performs strains in unison, generally near-unison in the identical octave on the 2 devices. The uprights’ skinny voices differthey could be siblings, however they don’t seem to be twinsthey usually aren’t completely in tune. That rigidity is not at all times overt, nevertheless it’s at all times current, vibrating and refracting. The depth of Lillinger’s drums, from the onerous snap of the snare to the muted toms farther again, create one other sonic phantasm. Eldh’s bass is deep and encompassing, circling slowly under. Abrupt and tightly executed modifications sound like edits, however the acoustic heat of the sustains speaks to the precision of their enjoying.
The compositions work within the service of the group. The 13 tracks, between two and 6 minutes, are brilliant, taut, and straightforward to digest. A captivating pay attention.Kurt Gottschalk
Ben Goldberg: Every part Occurs to Be
Goldberg, clarinets; Ellery Eskelin, tenor saxophone; Mary Halvorson, electrical guitar; others
BAG Manufacturing BAG 018 (CD). 2021. Goldberg, prod.; Nick Lloyd, eng.
Goldberg, a veteran clarinetist whose first recordings had been of avant-klezmer music, has teamed with saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and the trio Thumbscrew for this unusually mellifluous avant-jazz session. The album relies loosely on the idea of the chorale, the musicians elaborating on wistful, recognizable melodies, all composed by Goldberg aside from a well-recognized hymn, “Abide with Me.”
On the sooner tracks, comparable to “What About” and the dulcet “Fred Hampton,” Goldberg and Eskelin state the theme in unison or counterpoint earlier than improvising collectively or in sequence whereas the three rhythm gamers provide deft gildings. The band vamps in concord or engages in spirited musical dialog, however the sound is up to date, missing the screeching solos attribute of free jazz and something that intently resembles bebop.
The title observe is structured extra conventionally, with Goldberg enjoying the lead earlier than he, Halvorson, and Eskelin solo. “Tomas Performs the Drums” is essentially the most sometimes avantgarde reduce, with Goldberg squalling on the low-pitched contra-alto clarinet accompanied by Halvorson’s electronically enhanced guitar, as Tomas Fujiwara vigorously abides by the observe’s title.
The performers all discover the identical tuneful grooveparticularly Goldberg’s. Eskelin is an ideal foil; Halvorson bends and plinks the strings when she’s not choosing straight-ahead runs; and Michael Formanek and Fujiwara present stable, versatile help. Fujiwara sits out because the others play as one on “Abide with Me,” with Goldberg on Albert-system clarinet.Larry Birnbaum
John Patitucci, Vinnie Colaiuta, Invoice Cunliffe: Trio
John Patitucci, bass; Vinnie Colaiuta, drums; Invoice Cunliffe, piano
Le Coq 695924331981 (CD, additionally accessible as obtain). 2021. Invoice Cunliffe, prod.; Josh Connolly, eng.
You would need to be a rattling idiot to not applaud individuals with the center to start out up a jazz imprint within the midst of a world pandemic. Le Coq appeared on the scene in early 2021. The label’s founder, Piero Pata, has supplied a succinct mission assertion: “Sincere jazz.”
Trio is Le Coq’s fourth launch to this point. Its premise was to carry three high-level gamers collectively for the primary time and switch them unfastened “with out a script.” John Patitucci is among the nice dwelling jazz bassists. Vinnie Colaiuta is a premier crossover drummer, the selection of rock icons like Joni Mitchell and Sting. The star of this undertaking is Invoice Cunliffe, a grasp of recent mainstream jazz piano who is known solely amongst pianists.
Given the impromptu nature of the event, the set record wanted to be acquainted materials that the three may play from reminiscence. Inside minutes, they develop into a cohesive, interactive ensemble. They transfer from hovering, pensive ballads like “Laura” to high-energy exercises like “Seven Steps to Heaven” and make it one seamless circulate. As Piero Pata promised, the music is trustworthy and every little thing swings. “Good Morning Heartache” and “Simply in Time” include emotion inseparable from melody. Cunliffe elevates each one in all these culturally vital songs with impressed digressions into private lyricism.
Patitucci is a steady looming presence. His strains of accompaniment are complicated responses to Cunliffe’s concepts, and his solos show that in the correct palms a bass can communicate truths of the human coronary heart.Thomas Conrad
Enrico Morello: Cyclic Indicators
Enrico Morello, drums, qraqeb, carillon; Francesco Lento, trumpet; Daniele Tittarelli, alto saxophone; Matteo Bortone, bass
Auand AU 5014 (CD, additionally accessible as obtain). 2021. Enrico Morello, prod.; Francesco Ponticelli, eng.
Enrico Morello might be essentially the most in-demand drummer in Italy. He performs with younger badasses (Francesco Diodati) and previous masters (Enrico Rava). Cyclic Indicators is his debut as a frontrunner. It’s startling how this important sideman reveals himself as totally fashioned composer and overseer of ensemble kind.
In his liner notes, Morello identifies the underlying assumptions of this undertaking. Every part relies on the “driving power” of rhythm however with “sudden variations.” The format, with out a chording instrument, facilitates open dialogue between horizontal (melodic) and vertical (harmonic) dimensions. Trumpeter Francesco Lento and alto saxophonist Daniele Tittarelli fulfill these roles in Morello’s 12 authentic ideas. Their vivid strains run in parallel for jagged counterpoint, or cross for arcane concord, or coincide for unfastened unison statements of Morello’s convoluted themes. In the meantime, the chief’s drums and Matteo Bortone’s bass slash and seethe in rhythms with sudden variations.
The ability of Morello’s band is that 4 gamers who devotedly serve the ensemble are so able to abandoning their roles and working wild in free air. On “Pure Motion,” Lento’s eruptions are jolts of adrenalin. Bortone and Morello insert a unstable, spattering interlude. Then Tittarelli resets the temper, floating in excessive, circling and weaving. Cyclic Indicators is a precarious steadiness of impulse and group and a steady journey for inventive listeners. It is usually additional proof that Italy’s is the strongest jazz scene exterior america.Thomas Conrad
Ches Smith and We All Break: Path of Seven Colours
Sirene Dantor Rene, vocals; Miguel Zenón, saxophone; Matt Mitchell, piano; Nick Dunston, bass; others
Pyroclastic Information PR 14/15. 2021. David Breskin, prod.; Ron Saint Germain, eng.
Ches Smith did not take delving into Haitian music flippantly. The percussionist writes, within the in depth liner notes to his posh new CD set Path of Seven Colours, that it was solely after individuals began saying they heard the Haitian affect in his enjoying (he’d been finding out privately for 15 years) that he determined to focus his energies and kind a band. Along with his lecturers Daniel Brevil and Markus Schwartz and pianist Matt Mitchell, he organized the primary model of We All Break and launched a small-batch CD-R in 2017.
By 2020, the concepts had grown, and he returned to the studio with the unique band plus singer Sirene Dantor Rene, saxophonist Miguel Zen¢n, bassist Nick Dunston, and a fourth percussionist, Fanfan Jean-Man Rene. Each periods are included within the new set. The primary disc is a highlight for Mitchell, who soars with the rhythms, nevertheless it’s with the octet that the music actually breathes. Smith brings a jazz sensibility, opening the band to exploration and excavation into the items he constructed from drum patterns with new songs written by and conventional tunes woven in by Brevil.
Producer David Breskin, who has overseen earlier Pyroclastic releases (together with Kris Davis’s distinctive Diatom Ribbons) in addition to albums by Nels Cline and Mary Halvorson, and engineer Ron Saint Germainwhose personal in depth manufacturing credit embody Sonic Youthmaintain a heat room sound to the 2020 periods. You always remember you are listening to a reside band. The outcomes are inviting and interesting, enjoying to custom with out being beholden to it.Kurt Gottschalk
Dan Wilson: Vessels of Wooden and Earth
Dan Wilson, guitar; Christian Sands, keyboards; Marco Panascia, bass; Jeff “Tain” Watts, drums; others
Mack Avenue BRO4001 (CD, additionally accessible as obtain). 2021. Christian McBride, prod.; Todd Whitelock, eng.
Vessels of Wooden and Earth is the second launch by Brother Mister Productions, bassist Christian McBride’s personal imprint on the Mack Avenue label. Vessels presents a brand new guitarist who has the products. Dan Wilson’s belongings embody chops just like the quickest younger guitar gunslingers on the road plus one thing extra scarce: a mature inventive imaginative and prescient.
Wilson is grounded within the nice jazz guitar custom. You hear Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell in his sound. The core of this album is a quartet with pianist Christian Sands. Wilson and Sands are artists with in depth mainstream data, however they’re so technically gifted and play with a lot inventive ardour that they fly past conventional boundaries.
Wilson’s emotional vary can be in depth. His baseline angle is exuberance, as on Stevie Surprise’s “Hen of Magnificence.” He will get the ecstasy of Surprise’s melody, however he embeds it in an entire, detailed jazz association. Then, collectively, he and Sands elaborate the track in an enormous improvisation. “After the Rain” could be very completely different, a uncommon guitar response to John Coltrane’s solemn, hovering prayer. Wilson respects the dignity of darker songs, however his pure magnificence bathes them in new gentle.
The quartet with Sands is smokin’, but the final two tracks, guitar/bass duets, are greatest. “James” is one in all Pat Metheny’s best-loved, most affirmational songs. Wilson elevates the affirmation, provides funk, and lavishes new content material upon it. It’s not straightforward to out-Metheny Metheny. Ted Daffan’s “Born to Lose,” a rustic traditional, is a twangy shock. Wilson’s gracefulness deepens its poignance.Thomas Conrad