Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
162

Michael Bates Outside Sources: A Fine Balance

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
: A Fine Balance Call me biased, but jazz has the distinction of giving us some pretty good recordings on the whole. The downside to that is an ultimate dilution of the music for public consumption. What will one more performance of "'Round Midnight do for us? Michael Bates' A Fine Balance flies in the face of this product dilution. This music should be filed under "And Now for Something Different... and be proud of it. Perhaps best classified as avant-garde jazz, A Fine Balance actually defies categorization in the same way progressive art often does.

Outside Sources is steered by bassist/composer Michael Bates. He favors wide-open spaces to fill with his and his band's joyful cacophony. His compositions nod to the classical masters, particularly Shostakovich and Prokofiev ("Prokofiev is based on a cello sonata by the composer). The disc opens with the boisterous "On Equilibrium and slides into the dirge-like "Entrance, accented by Quinsin Nachoff's reedy bass clarinet. "Charcoal features trumpeter Kevin Turcotte sparring with the clarinet against the rhythm section. This is jazz counterpoint, something which Bach would have been content to compose or improvise.

Bates' musical vision is one of freedom, but not at all costs. His compositions can be at once melodic and confounding. But no matter what, this is a thoroughly enjoyable recording, steeped in the the last forty years of the jazz tradition, which should occupy the CD tray for quite some time.

Visit Outside Sources on the web.


Track Listing: Small Obstacles; On Equilibrium; Entrance; Charcoal; Prodigal; Prokofiev; Partly Innocent; St. Helen; Coppertone; Simple Interlude.

Personnel: Michael Bates: bass; Quinsin Nachoff: reeds; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet; Mark Timmermans: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Between the Lines | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.