Bruno Heinen Sextet: Tierkreis (2013)
With his talented support structure, Heinen knocks borders down via this cohesive alliance between Stockhausen's works and the outside realm of progressive jazz. At times, the pianist injects flurries reminiscent of Bill Evans while also opening pieces with probing, toy piano phrasings. The ensemble is well-rehearsed and executes vacillating passages steeped in improvisation, largely complementing the melodic themes and intricately engineered rhythms.
Tenor saxophonist Tomas Challenger signals an after- houses vibe with his soulful lines on "Gemini." Drummer Jon Scott instills a sense of urgency with bustling undercurrents as the musicians veer into a crisp swing vamp and decompose the primary motif on "Leo" where the musicians initiate a swelling current and loosen it up by delving deep into a horns-generated improvisational pattern during the bridge.
Stylistic diversity is a key factor, evidenced on "Scorpio," which is constructed with an odd-metered rock groove, sketched by chirpy horns and free expressionism as Heinen steers the band back to home base for the finale. Wondrously synchronized yet not over-baked, Heinen's arrangements pronounce astute vision and maturity to coincide with a highly entertaining form-factor.
Track Listing: Aries; Taurus; Gemini; Cancer; Leo; Virgo; Libra; Scorpio; Sagittarius; Capricorn; Aquarius; Pisces; Aries.
Personnel: Bruno Heinen: piano, musical box; Fulvio Sigurta: trumpet; James Allsopp: bass clarinet; Tom Challenger: tenor saxophone; Andrea Di Biase: bass; Jon Scott: drums.
Record Label: Babel Label