151

Michael Bates' Outside Sources: A Fine Balance

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Bates says that as a jazz musician, he takes a punk attitude to things. If anything, that is a refreshing attitude. When it comes down to music, he achieves a fine balance. He has all the right ingredients: a jazz sensibility, an open approach to classical music, a tingly edginess, and a sense of adventure.

Bates has a band that helps him along in no uncertain terms. Reed specialist Quinsin Nachoff is exciting as he lays bare unusual vistas in his improvisation; Kevin Turcotte, one of the finest trumpeters around, slips compactly into the mould and brings his own vision into play; drummer Mark Timmermans adds textures and accents that broaden the palette. The main protagonist, of course, is Bates, whose writing gives the musicians the room to change shape and density.

Bates shows his ability to channel ideas into new directions, even as he respects the tradition, on "Prokofiev, which is based on the composer's Cello Sonata in C Major. His arco dwells on the melody, albeit briefly, the signal for Nachoff's clarinet. The pace is deliberate and warm as Turcotte comes in, his notes at first a soft wisp, but then more pronounced as the shift in trajectory begins. The playing field opens and the thrust becomes stronger as the saxophone projects tensile lines.

"The Prodigal is an evolving tune that never stays in one place. Movement is constant, from the gliding ensemble horns to the saxophone taking off in unfettered flight, before returning home and clasping the other instruments in conversation. A bristling tempo characterises "On Equilibrium. The shift of pace and pulse, the roll and tumble of the saxophone, the intense urgency of the bass, and then the airy, pliant lines of the trumpet, with a sting in its tail, make the tune exceptional.

Visit Michael Bates 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.

Title: A Fine Balance | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Between the Lines


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Michael Bates Events

Date Event Time
Oct26Thu Sandcatchers
Bop Shop Records
Rochester, NY
8:00 pm
$20 , 10

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Kurrent" CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Groove Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)" CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Rebirth" CD/LP/Track Review Rebirth
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Each Edge of the Field" CD/LP/Track Review Each Edge of the Field
by John Eyles
Published: July 4, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.