All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

CD/LP/Track Review

Gene Ess: Fractal Attraction (2013)

By Published: August 7, 2013
Gene Ess: Fractal Attraction Using the voice as a melodic and harmonic instrument above and beyond scat singing or vocalese is increasing in popularity, as evidenced in recordings like Beata Pater's Red (B&B Records, 2013) and Lola Danza's The Island (Evolver, 2012). Vocalist Thana Alexa joins guitarist Gene Ess for an expansion of Ess' genre-breaking jazz philosophy, using the human voice as instrument, thus broadening its palette of applications in jazz.

On the whole, Ess' compositions are angular, with sharp corners and dissonant tendencies. "Silver's Fate" is serpentine, with a complex head that gives way to straight scat singing by Alexa. "Blues for Two" is a bouncing, traditional tune, tightly arranged and delivered. The lengthiest piece on the recording, the 14-minute long "Ascent," is characterized by a John Cage
John Cage
John Cage
1912 - 1992
composer/conductor
-informed prepared piano approach, executed by David Berkman and Ess in a seamless cascade of musical ideas rolling over one another. While this music sounds free- wheeling, it is an affectation; Ess' compositions are all well-considered and thoughtfully conceived and arranged. The presence of Alexa is merely an extension of Ess' vision, one that is amply realized.


Track Listing: Silver's Fate; Blues For Two; Ascent; Letter From Boston; Tanabata; Fractica; Descent; Fractal Attraction.

Personnel: Gene Ess: guitar; Thana Alexa: voice; David Berkman: piano; Thomson Kneeland: bass; Gene Jackson: drums.

Record Label: SIMP Records

Style: Modern Jazz



comments powered by Disqus