All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

187

Drew Gress: 7 Black Butterflies

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Drew Gress throws his contender for year's best in with 7 Black Butterflies, a crackling collection uniting a stellar cast of players who live up to their collective reputation. With Tim Berne, Ralph Alessi, Craig Taborn, and Tom Rainey fully engaged, Gress holds an all-aces hand. His multifaceted compositions provide the tracks for this ride, while the quintet provides the vivid scenery. While Berne, Alessi, and Taborn usually inhabit worlds of sonic phenomena, the simple acoustic setting here spotlights the prodigious pure jazz power each player wields.

Opening with a dizzying panning hiss and Alessi's choked breathy notes, "Rhinoceros lumbers in on Gress' metronome bass. Alessi and Berne harmonize a classic theme only to evaporate, dub style. A tempo change has Taborn and Gress doubling for momentum, urged on by Rainey and Taborn's chording right hand. Alessi and Berne return to fan flames and blow the structure apart. A loose-jointed neo-bop line dances through "Bright Idea, opening for a rubbery solo by Gress. Berne spreads low-register alto butter around the prickly rhythm section, while Alessi flashes through rolling time signatures. Rainey simmers under Taborn's acute chords and melody line.

Taborn plays spaciously heartfelt music on the ballad "Zaftig. Berne moves the tune into a more frenzied direction, replacing wistfulness with passion. With a theme that seems to occasionally tease with a taste of "Salt Peanuts, "Blue on One Side tears along with Taborn and Berne driving, then Alessi plays an inspired and occasionally echoed duet with Rainey. Alessi and Berne slug it out on "Low Slung/High Slung, the clunky riff chugging with occasional ultra stereo dub effects, causing the horns to take flight. Taborn slows it, only to use his right hand to start fires.

Between nasty multi-time grooves and emotionally satisfying reveries, 7 Black Butterflies convincingly applies for a long-term residency in your CD player.


Track Listing: 1. Rhinoceros (8:24); 2. Bright Idea (8:53); 3. New Leaf (5:48); 4. Zaftig (8:37); 5. Bas Relief (0:58); 6. Blue On One Side (6:17); 7. Wing & Prayer (6:12); 8. Low Slung/High Strung (9:00); 9. Like it Never Was (4:28)

Personnel: Drew Gress--bass; Ralph Alessi--trumpet; Tim Berne--alto saxophone; Tom Rainey--drums; Craig Taborn--piano

Title: 7 Black Butterflies | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Premonition Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Sky Inside

The Sky Inside

Pirouet Records
2014

buy
Drew Gress: The Sky Inside

Drew Gress: The Sky...

Pirouet Records
2013

buy
The Sky Inside

The Sky Inside

Pirouet Records
2013

buy
 

Le sue ali

Song & Music Lyrics
2009

buy
 

The Irrational Numbers

Premonition Records
2008

buy
 

For

Cuneiform Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 11, 2018
Read "Möbius Strip" CD/LP/Track Review Möbius Strip
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "druidh penumbrae" CD/LP/Track Review druidh penumbrae
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "The Company I Keep" CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Cross-Platform Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Cross-Platform Interchange
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 4, 2017