The trio of Dominic Duval, Jay Rosen, and Mark Whitecage convey a strong sense of intimacy on No Respect. Recorded during a club date in Austria, the set reflects three musicians picking up a spark of current and transforming it into brilliant light. Their music has rushing absorbability, rolling mightily along and gathering momentum as the sound of reeds, bass, and drums all intertwine cohesively.
Whitecage, who composed five of the pieces on this date, is an intriguing woodwind player. He builds his clarinet solos in circling spirals of light-as-air finery. During “Just Us” and “No Respect,” he feeds these sprightly tinges into electronic devices to create multiple layers of wispy sound. On the Hancock classic “Dolphin Dance,” Whitecage caresses the tune on alto. He takes off from the infectious theme and soars on high with inventive phrasing containing only the barest essence of the melody line as a tether back to recognizable ground.
The muscularity in the music comes from Duval, who lays down a very dense and absorbing carpet of bass tones. His deep output covers the sound spectrum with vibrant rhythms that dance dizzyingly along. He fills every crack and cranny with retorts having viscous consistency. His notes stream forward as would an all-encompassing lava flow.
Crosscurrents of rhythm erupt from Rosen’s drum kit. He moves in lockstep with the changing momentum of the set. Rosen provides a delicate touch on sensitive segments and then becomes ambitiously assertive as the activity level rises to greater heights. His encounters in duet with Duval display his true empathy for these ever-changing scenarios.
The title song is particularly poignant. Whitecage mournfully skims just above ground level on alto, directing the piece into increasingly more agitated areas of emotion. Duval’s resonance permeates the atmosphere while Rosen punctuates the complex grammar with succinctness and precision. “’Round Midnight” might be one of the most frequently played jazz tunes in history, but somehow this trio manages to give it new and fresh meaning. Whitecage’s variations on the theme trigger the band to seek new territory where Duval masterfully conveys the sadness of the song through his bass solo.
The entire performance clicks along seamlessly, yielding gems of improvised beauty at every turn. As can be heard at the very onset and throughout the set, Duval, Rosen, and Whitecage have it together on this date.
Visit Mark Whitecage on the web.
Personnel: Mark Whitecage-alto saxophone, clarinet, wood flute; Dominic Duval-bass; Jay Rosen-drums,
percussion. Recorded: May 3, 2001, Caf