434

Samuel Blaser Quartet: 7th Heaven

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Samuel Blaser Quartet: 7th Heaven New York-based, Swiss-born trombonist Samuel Blaser has appeared on over 30 recordings as a sideman and former member of numerous European big bands (including the Vienna Art Orchestra). 7th Heaven is his impressive debut as a leader. Accompanied by sympathetic peers, his quartet interprets these elaborate, lyrical compositions with knowing restraint and simmering volatility.

Drawing on his classical education, Blaser blurs the line between the written and improvised with an intricate, multi-layered aesthetic that is as melodically engaging as it is exploratory. Employing ample space and open tonalities, Blaser's angular tunes are ethereal even at their most tumultuous. Dominated by the three-part "Metamorphose Suite," the album unfolds with an atmospheric, neo-classical attention to detail.

A commanding soloist with a harmonious approach to abstraction, Blaser enriches his mellifluous, buttery timbre with multiphonics, smears and myriad extended techniques to paint swirls of expressive chiaroscuro. Together with nimble guitarist Scott DuBois, they craft a rich sonic palette. A rising presence in the Downtown scene, DuBois has a distinct, effusive style that avoids routine conventions. Eschewing electronic EFX, he favors an unaffected, traditional guitar tone to fuel his blistering intervallic runs and percolating salvos.

Bassist Thomas Morgan (Dave Binney, Steve Coleman) and drummer Gerald Cleaver (Charles Gayle, Roscoe Mitchell) navigate turn-on-a-dime shifts in tempo and tone with a far-reaching facility. Morgan alternates lithe figures with sinewy support while Cleaver mixes roiling trap set palpitations with scintillating cymbal work, offering an expansive percussive panorama. From rubato pulses to unusual time signatures, Morgan and Cleaver spin a web of complex rhythmic patterns as they gracefully navigate a maze of quicksilver changes that veer from intricate cadences to pointillist accents.

Blaser's quartet brings a majestic air to the session, bolstering their empathetic communal sensibility with intuitive dexterity and unfettered virtuosity, accentuating and deconstructing forms with carefully considered interpretation. A stellar debut, 7th Heaven reveals Blaser as an artist of great promise.


Track Listing: Sans Titre; Au 7eme Ciel; Metamorphose Suite I: Metamorphose; Metamorphose Suite II: Entre-Deux; Metamorphose Suite III: Metaphore; On 175th Street; La Vache.

Personnel: Samuel Blaser: trombone; Scott DuBois: guitar; Thomas Morgan: double bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Between the Lines | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Tournesol" CD/LP/Track Review Tournesol
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "You and I" CD/LP/Track Review You and I
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "When In Moscow" CD/LP/Track Review When In Moscow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "Triangular III" CD/LP/Track Review Triangular III
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!