Hans Glawischnig: Panorama (2008)
Bassist Hans Glawischnig has several positive factors working for him on his second recording as leader. He writes with a fine focus, even though he goes across several styles. Melody is inherent in his compositions and so is room for improvisation. He is not averse to letting a tune blossom into something different from the stem that feeds it. He is helped by a fine group of players that he divides into trios and quartets and, for one tune, a quintet, to give each of his tunes a well-defined perspective.
Glawischnig has two pianists in Luis Perdomo and Chick Corea. Perdomo lays the pulse for "Line Drive" but it is Miguel Zenón who stamps the journey with his alto saxophone. He uses a flinty tone, sharp at the edges, to which he adds a bit of swagger. He nudges the boundaries and then lets them fold supplely. Perdomo extends the melody line, bringing in a radiant approach that rides on the crackle and snap of Jonathan Blake's drums.
Corea comes in on two trio outings. As can be expected he is in his comfort zone on both "Panorama" and "Oceanography." The former is a mainstream tune; the latter has a Latin melody. Corea brings in that sure flow of ideas, his ministrations warmly balanced by an occasional emphasis that drives the music forward. However, it is the latter tune that gives Corea the opportunity to build a more attractive edifice. Having done that, he and Glawischnig get into a happy little conversation.
Glawischnig keeps the beat pumping, yet is a firm anchor. He brings in for the ballad, "Barretto's Way" on arco before the supple strings of his bass sing a quiet song. David Binney lets his alto take gentle flight before he descends in a graceful arch and saturates the melody with lush sweetness. But he does not let the mood get saccharine, he swipes in a rapid injection of phrases that blood his stance. His phrases, seeped in the melody are articulate and compelling. Some fine soloing from Glawischnig and an illuming interlude from Pedromo complete the circle of charm.
Glawischnig's panoramic view is, quite simply, a downright delight.
Track Listing: Line Drive; Panorama; The Orchids; Gypsy Tales; Set to Sea; Oceanography; Beneath the Waves; Barretto
Personnel: Hans Glawischnig: bass guitar; Ben Monder: guitar (4); David Binney: alto saxophone (4, 8); Miguel Zen