Samuel Blaser Quartet: Boundless (2011)
In his relatively brief tenure as a professional jazz musician who derives influences from classical music studies and John Cage-tinted abstractions, Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser's craft teems with curiously interesting applications and concepts. He's recorded for other prominent European record labels, but debuts on the historic Swiss-based hatOLOGY label with Boundless.
Blaser imparts a penchant for innovation, fusing experimentation with structure and loosely organized tenets within a larger compositional picture, and his band of proven futurists share a common plight via resolute expansionism. "Boundless Suite, Part 4" is engineered on a staggered sequence of rhythmic variations. Bassist Banz Oester's organic sound and limber parts offer a rugged underpinning in concert with drummer Gerald Cleaver's dynamic polyrhythmic pulse. Here, Blaser leads the musicians through a portentous set of introspective phrasings, boisterous breakouts and subtle textures. It's a calm-before-the-storm effect, highlighted by the trombonist's corpulent lines, instilled with pathos and swarming cadenzas.
Guitar hero Marc Ducret's angular and splintering notes foretell a twisted plot, as the band descends into a dark canyon, soliciting imagery of obstacles encountered along the way. But Cleaver flips the cards with his punishing drum patterns, segueing the bridge into a doomsday rock groove, where the quartet concludes on a quiet note.
Blaser transmits a formidable presence to complement a scientific approach within the artsy side of jazz. He attains a symmetrical balance that unites the best of many musical tangents and song forms, construed with an open-world mindset.
Personnel: Samuel Blaser: trombone; Marc Ducret: electric guitar; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Banz Oester: contrabass.