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Carl Clements: A Different Light

Carl Clements: A Different Light
Sunlight beaming into a church through a stained-glass window is a different light—tinted and soft-hued, suggestive of the presence of divinity. Saxophonist Carl Clements' quartet outing, A Different Light, gives the same impression. Looking to the album's stained glass-like cover art, artist Amanda Barrow's visual for the album seems a fine fit for this distinctive, modern jazz quartet. The painting's colors are mostly muted, with two overlapping spheres (Neptune and Uranus? Or gas giants from another solar system?) in eclipse, bringing a church of the cosmos to mind. But these musings could be speculation. Music hits different ears in different ways. What is certain is that this saxophone and a rhythm section quartet makes a distinctive ensemble sound.

The disc opens with "Onset." It has a fractured glass mosaic sound, It scampers, like Mercury zipping around the sun. It exudes a machine-like precision, like the mathematical workings of a solar system. Though there are perturbations: Chase Morrin's frenetic, free-flying piano solo, for example, followed by Bruno Raberg's gravitational bass solo, accompanied by drummer Gen Yoshimura's rat-ta-tat mode that sounds like the raining of space dust and bits of asteroid belt gravel.

Clement plays tenor and soprano saxophones. Also, a bansuri, a wooden instrument that originated in the Indian subcontinent. World jazz shadings move in and out of the ensemble sound. The title tune has a spiritual, Wayne Shorter-like vibe; Clements is on the soprano here, and his tone is exquisite. There is patience in the storytelling of the tune. Imagine—going back to the cover art again, from a different perspective—non-vertebrate deep-sea life, moving slowly, deliberately under immense pressure, vibrant despite their harsh environment.

Much is made of John Coltrane's 1960s quartet with bassist Jimmy Garrison, pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones, for the synchronicity and collective energy in their perfection of expression of the leader's vision. The same goes for saxophonist Oded Tzur and his quartets. Carl Clements and his A Different Life quartet travel a similar searching path on this remarkable recording.

Track Listing

Onset; Sanyog; A New Leaf; A Different Light; In Sight; Tango Extraño; Before Again; Absence/Return; Good Luck, Bad Luck (Who Knows?).


Carl Clements
Bruno Raberg
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Carl Clements: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, and bansuri.

Album information

Title: A Different Light | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Greydisc Records

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