Peter Van Huffel/Michael Bates/Jeff Davis: Boom Crane (2014)
Track review of "Automatic Vaudeville"
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Berlin-based saxophonist, composer Peter Van Huffel is the lead voice on Boom Crane's debut outing, featuring the dynamo rhythm section of New York residents, bassist Michael Bates and drummer Jeff Davis. As one would anticipate, the saxophonist imparts his creatively focused, restless nature into the grand schema. He's a mover and shaker via his unwieldy theme- construction exercises, spiked with off-center time signatures and animated voicings, often flanked with iron-fisted chutzpah and exceptional fluency. Hence, the musicians go full steam ahead by integrating a free-form hue into these byzantine and rather unconventional jaunts.
The element of surprise underscores the album. On "Automatic Vaudeville," Bates launches a sturdy walking bass line, summoning a mid-tempo swing vamp, and followed by Van Huffel's sanguine phrasings amid an easy-going gait. He establishes a sinuous melody and takes his time, but as history would dictate, he re-energizes the primary motif; raises the pitch, and takes matters to the next level. The trio shifts into double-time and cycles through fiery pulses, resulting in yet another source of interest. Here and throughout the program, the musicians tender the antithesis to common jazz fare along with their superb musicianship, wily digressions and striking interactions.
Personnel: Peter Van Huffel: alto saxophone, clarinet; Michael Bates: bass; Jeff
Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent