Michael Feinberg: With Many Hands (2011)
On With Many Hands, bassist/composer Michael Feinberg charts his epic journey across the topographic ocean of sound, every once in awhile plunging into its depths to stir up a vortex and emerge with a roar. His playing is that driven by a powerful natural energy. Thus, he disappears and explores the temples of tone and timbre, only to reappear with an ebullient fanfare of fat, round notes that are, at once, inspired and inspirational to those who accompany him on his musical journey. His bass growls and roars with a mature gravitas that has its secret in the mysticism of the bass as well as its sheer physicality. There are, quite simply, few players like him. A couple playing today that come to mind immediately are Dave Holland and Boris Kozlov.
But Feinberg is a singular musician in his own right. His playing is full of a foaming freshness. Notes align themselves with thick fluidity, cascading into phrases and lines that are awash with a murmuring gentility. At a moment's notice, this seemingly shy voice turns with statuesque brilliance and glistens with majesty as if each note were smelted and gilt-edged. Feinberg may play in linear fashion, assigning an assured logic to his melodic voice. And there are times when he deliberately lets go of the melody and indulges in a burbling romp through some kind of musical Elysian field, where harmony engages rhythm in an interminable dance. Such ingenuitythe ability to meld the essential components of musicwith the innate ability of a medieval apothecary always abides in Feinberg's playing and this is what embellishes his music unforgettably.
Whether paying tribute to an ancient proverb, adopted by the Haitian Diaspora in "With Many Hands," or spinning a vivid narrative in "Temple Tales," Feinberg's soli are magnificently elastic. These are, of course, emboldened by the other so-called "captains" in his swart ship, with percussion colorist, Daniel Platzman chief among them, bringing a whole new and vivacious character to the music. Haitian-born alto saxophonist, Godwin Louis, is truly a revelation among young musicians playing today. Born of a pedigree that characterized the great alto players of the bebop era, he is sharp-witted and deeply steeped in the history of this music. His astounding turn on "Lost and Found," where he quotes with fluidity from "Tenderly," introduces the world to his elemental glissandi, and a truly alluring rhythmic attack, that attempts to hark back to Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt.
And, of course, there is young tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger, whose playing is as sharp as a dark blade that cuts through the air, dense with spectacularly crafted harmony, which is all of his invention; pianist Julian Shore and guitarist Alex Wintz are no less visible. Given to lyrical flights, these three musicians add definitive value, replete with tonal color and tactile textures throughout. These artists, led by the extraordinary Feinberg, represent a young tribe that is assuredly going places.
Track Listing: With Many Hands; Temple Tales; NBD; The Hard Stuff; August; Fighting Monsters; Lost and Found.
Personnel: Michael Feinberg: bass; Alex Wintz: guitars; Julian Shore: piano, keyboards; Godwin Louis: alto saxophone; Noah Preminger: tenor saxophone; Daniel Platzman: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced
Style: Beyond Jazz