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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Yaun Quartet: Amen: Improvisations on Messiaen

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Classical composition and jazz improvisation have a relatively short history of co-existence most prominently traced in the developments of the Third Stream. Keith Yaun adds a new entry to the lineage through the austere interpretations of Olivier Messiaen scores, which comprise this disc. His partners in the project prove well suited to the kind of chamber music interplay required, sharing between them a deep understanding of the pitch properties of their respective instruments.

Maneri’s background in microtones becomes particularly useful in mapping the fractionary expanses of Yaun’s improvisatory translations. Wielding his handcrafted electric baritone violin, an imposing instrument that easily ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Yaun Quintet: Countersink

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This is a good debut effort from Boston, MA based guitarist Keith Yaun. Backed by a band that includes Mat Maneri; violin, John Lockwood; bass: Nathan Cook; tenor sax and Johnny McLellan drums, Yaun displays seasoned bandleading skills not to mention impressive chops.

For several years, Boston has been a Mecca for avant-garde and free improvised music. Witness saxophonist Joe Maneri’s recent recordings for ECM, Leo and Hatology records. The re-emergence of saxophonist Mark Whitecage and Mat Maneri’s (Joe Maneri’s son) recording endeavors with pianist Matthew Shipp and guitarist Joe Morris. Other than New York and Chicago, Boston has resurfaced ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Keith Yaun Quintet: Countersink

This disc arouses a curious sense of dissociation, which seems to be exactly what the musicians intended. The opening track, drummer Johnny McLellan's “Durt Kolphy," is based on riffs (according to the liner notes) copped from Kurt Cobain and Eric Dolphy. This already lumpy mix is made even lumpier by the instrumentation of electric guitar (leader Keith Yaun), electric violin (the justifiably celebrated Mat Maneri) and tenor sax (Nathan Cook), with bassist John Lockwood and McLellan. The soloists seem in one way to inhabit different worlds; yet there is an indescribable symmetry between the honest-to-goodness Dolphyan sounds Cook manages to ...



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