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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Hollenbeck / Alban Darche / Sébastien Boisseau / Samuel Blaser: J.A.S.S.

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J.A.S.S. as in the first letters of the names of American drummer John hollenbeck, French saxophonist Alban Darche and double bassist Sébastien Boisseau and Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser. But Jass also as the term used by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in March 1917 for the very first jazz-album recording or just the name of centuries-old popular card game in Switzerland and Austria. All of the above references relevant to this quartet who first played together in Berlin in July 2011 and recorded its debut after an artist's residency in Nantes, France, the hometown of Darche ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samuel Blaser Consort in Motion: A Mirror to Machaut

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Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser's largely mellower and investigative Consort in Motion differs from his acclaimed quartet's often hard- hitting and somewhat deviously entertaining persona for the hatOLOGY record label, partly due to French guitarist Marc Ducret's electrifying assaults. Thus, A Mirror to Machaut sheds additional light on Blaser's approach to composition, that coincides with a band personnel shift after drumming legend Paul Motian's passing in November, 2012. Blaser tackles the work and ideologies of pioneering medieval composer Guillaume de Machaut for a program that proffers diversity and unforeseen shifts in strategy. His conservatory training, linked with his ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Samuel Blaser Quartet: As the Sea

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Since bursting on the the international jazz scene in the mid-2000s, Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser has established himself as one of his instrument's foremost practitioners. His playing combines the precision and detail of a top-flight classical instrumentalist with the unfettered, emotionally direct and rhythmically rich approach that characterizes the best jazz players. Blaser--still in his early 30s-- has also forged a reputation as a bandleader and composer par excellence. Presently, he leads four different bands, and occupies the trombone chair in groups led by saxophonist Peter van Huffel, clarinetist Francois Houle and percussionist Pierre Favre. As The Sea features Blaser's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samuel Blaser Consort in Motion: A Mirror to Machaut

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Over the last few years Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser has established himself as a significant presence in the international jazz scene. Recent activity features no less than three consecutive releases; A Mirror to Machaut is the latest in a series of engaging albums, following One From None (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2013), the debut of his co-led Quintet with Canadian bassist Michael Bates, and As The Sea (Hatology, 2013), the second recording of his regular touring Quartet.Among his current projects, Consort in Motion is the most intriguing. The ensemble's 2011 self-titled debut featured legendary drummer Paul Motian anchoring ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samuel Blaser Quartet: As The Sea

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Allocating his time between Europe and New York City, Swiss-born trombone maestro Samuel Blaser has recorded for prominent record labels, specializing in the outside jazz realm. Thus, As The Sea is the quartet's follow-up to Boundless (hatOLOGY, 2011). Blaser's recognizable plight to lay out nouveau frontiers remains a continuum. No wonder why he's garnered the assistance of such reputable instrumentalists. Otherwise, the program contains a flux of contrapuntal statements. His musicality imparts breathy expansionism amid swarming movements that are purposely chaotic, and feature improvisation that at times seems to be somewhat calculated by design. Nonetheless, Blaser allows the band to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samuel Blaser Quartet: As The Sea

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The whole of some musical outfits is greater than its separate parts. The Berlin-based, Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser's Quartet is one of these outfits, comprised of resourceful musicians with strong personalities, distinct approaches that together complement the strengths of this band but also pushes it into newer terrains. Blaser is conservatory trained and university educated, has a perfect-pitch sound on the trombone and rich musical vision that encompasses anything between composer Richard Wagner's grandiose operas, classical Indian music and saxophone giant John Coltrane. Self-taught French guitarist Marc Ducret has developed a highly original musical language, intuitive, genre-binding ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samuel Blaser Quartet: Boundless

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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 ...



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