Ed Neumeister Quartet: Reflection (2006)
Despite all those accomplishments, two of his bandmates on Reflectionbassist Drew Gress and drummer John Hollenbeckcan claim higher profiles. Pianist Fritz Pauer rounds out the quartet, which showcases some gorgeously facile group interplay.
The quartet's equilibrium is remarkable. A trombone has the ability to blow in the direction of bombast and brassy volume, but Ed Neumeister's group sounds almost chamber-like in its equality, with each touch of the cymbal ringing clear, each plucked bass note throbbing distinctly. Neumeisterthe composer and playeris a master of subtlety and finesse on open or muted horn, and Pauer adds splashes of swirling bright colors with masterful aplomb.
Five of the eight tunes here are Neumeister originals, along with one piece each from Hollenbeck, Gress and Pauer. Things get "jazzy" at times, as on the Neumeister-penned "Osmosis," where the trombone sits in a more up-front position; but for the most part, this is thoughtful, erudite musicdemocratic music, relentlessly beautiful sounds that seem almost suite-like in their interconnectedness.
Reflection shines a very deserved spotlight on a lesser-known talent.
Track Listing: Trees; It Was After the Rain That the Angel Came Down; Osmosis; Coping Song; Reflection; Yanagumi; Lumuria; Gobblers Nob.
Personnel: Ed Neumeister: trombone; John Hollenbeck: drums, percussion; Drew Gress: bass; Fritz Pauer: piano.
Record Label: ArtistShare
Style: Modern Jazz