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.

Title: 7th Heaven | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Between the Lines


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read My Head Is Listening CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Passin' Thru CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Ugly Beauty CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Nick Davies
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Proximity" CD/LP/Track Review Proximity
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Original Demos" CD/LP/Track Review Original Demos
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones" CD/LP/Track Review The Magnificent Thad Jones
by Greg Simmons
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "The Evolution Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Evolution Suite
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Fourtune" CD/LP/Track Review Fourtune
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 28, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!