Amen: Improvisations on Messiaen by Derek Taylor
Countersink by Glenn Astarita
Countersink by Robert SpencerMore articles about Keith Yaun
Not just on the first track, but throughout the album, there is a fraternal contrast set up between Yaun's almost Grant Green cool (although he plays far from the inside track Grant ran, and reaches for a few rock-inspired licks on "Countersink" and here and there on other tracks) and the postmodern angularity and passion of Cook, with Maneri singing and swinging in between. Of course, some of the best music is created from such contrasts: Miles vs. Coltrane, Lacy vs. Rudd. On Maneri's "Longer Inches" Yaun and Cook explore much the same harmonic territory in back-to-back solos, but once again the different sonic hefts of their instruments (and the gradual tension Cook builds with Evan Parkerian muttering) lends to that strange dissociation; Maneri's solo, angular and fragmentary, achieves a kind of synthesis.
The lugubrious and aptly-named "Heavy Hand of Love" begins much more softly, but with no less tension; after an extended build up Cook breaks out to explore more energetic musings, with Maneri accentuating them keenly - but then it all comes to naught, until another initiative (this one from Maneri) starts the thing over again. The more upbeat title track, "Collide" and "Right Much?" also seems to drift in an atmosphere of fragmentation and dissociation. By contrast, the brief "Runup #1" and "Runup #2" are full of Dolphyan/Ornetteish energy and cohesiveness.
An interesting and disturbing album, full of tension and unexpected shifts. There are a number of fine moments, especially when the players subtly accent a phrase or a mood in a solo. A quintet of five talented and promising musicians, from whom no doubt much more will be heard.
Record Label: Leo Records
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