Jacám Manricks: Trigonometry (2010)
There is a snap to the music of saxophonist Jacám Manricks' music that calls to mind the invention of bebop with it's fidgety energy. Without looking backwards, this recording re-invents that atmosphere of bop animation.
After self-releasing Labyrinth (2009), he returns with a stellar cast of players that includes his quartet of Gary Versace (piano), Joe Martin (bass), and Obed Calvaire (drums). Sitting in as guests on several tracks are trombonist Alan Ferber and Scott Wendholt on trumpet.
Manricks' alto recalls that of Greg Osby and the title Trigonometry explains the sometimes precise intersections his compositions meet. This is snappy and succinct music with particular direction as demonstrated on the title track. The band negotiates the tunes, but not without a certain swing that pleases. Manricks enjoys a rapport with pianist Versace that is both of like-mindedness and foil. They match wits on the tight and twisty tune "Slippery" and butt heads on the skittery track "Sketch" that jumps around in a Thelonious Monk-like fashion.
When the quartet is joined by guests Wendholt and Ferber, Manricks' compositions expand into broad harmonies. The overtly smelly "Cluster Funk" recalls some 1960's chittlin' circuit sound updated to a Brooklyn hipsters chant.
The only track not composed by Manricks is Eric Dolphy's "Miss Ann" which he plays in a bass/drums trio. Shaved to the bone, he displays his flawless technique addressing the track with a fluid manner.
Track Listing: Trigonometry; Cluster Funk; Slippery; Nucleus; Miss Ann; Sketch; Mood Swing; Labyrinth; Combat; Micro Gravity.
Personnel: Jacám Manricks: alto saxophone; Gary Versace: piano; Joe Martin: bass; Alan Ferber: trombone; Scott Wendholt: trumpet; Obed Calvaire: drums.