Mark Whitecage's Other Quartet: Consensual Tension
On “Murmurings”, Whitecage (alto) and Mateen (tenor) trade some serious heat while Fonda and Sorgen swing or rumble and tumble in support of the clever and fire breathing improv from the saxophonists. “Drum Reso” emits notions of being a nursery rhyme for children who are destined to become modern or free jazz musicians when they grow up. Here, Whitecage and Mateen converge to state an almost childlike theme, which develops into something complex. On this piece we hear Joe Fonda’s proficient arco bass working in tandem with Sorgen’s fluctuating pulse. At 18 minutes, “Joe’s Groove” is perhaps the highlight of this recording as Sorgen’s African style rhythms propagate matters into a series of tumultuous conversations between Mateen and Whitecage’s soaring, high register alto. Here, the engagingly chatty vernacular is sparkling as Whitecage and Mateen work well together through disparate, personalized styles and distinct phraseology. “Joe’s Groove” possesses all the intensity of a hard driving rock band sans the amplification. At times, the clever horn work elicits thoughts of a bunch of nightclub singers belting out the blues or perhaps scat singing through jazzy motifs. Sonny Rollins’ “Oleo” is the lone track not authored by Whitecage. Here, The Quartet’s rendition is somewhat raw and freewheeling, yet swings pretty hard; although, things seem to work best for this band within the framework of Whitecage’s compositions.
This recording captured “live” in an intimate setting works wonders for the listener as we get to share the nuances and subtleties associated with music of this ilk. Consensual Tension is a multicolored pastiche as Whitecage and co. paint canvasses which come to life, for you, ..the listener! * * * * ½
Mark Whitecage; Recorder, Alto & Soprano Saxes: Sabir Mateen; Clarinet, Flute, Alto & Tenor Saxes: Joe Fonda; Bass: Harvey Sorgen; Drums
Distributed by Cadence