Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Samuel Blaser Consort in Motion: A Mirror to Machaut

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser's largely mellower and investigative Consort in Motion differs from his acclaimed quartet's often hard- hitting and somewhat deviously entertaining persona for the hatOLOGY record label, partly due to French guitarist Marc Ducret's electrifying assaults. Thus, A Mirror to Machaut sheds additional light on Blaser's approach to composition, that coincides with a band personnel shift after drumming legend Paul Motian's passing in November, 2012.

Blaser tackles the work and ideologies of pioneering medieval composer Guillaume de Machaut for a program that proffers diversity and unforeseen shifts in strategy. His conservatory training, linked with his broad improvisational faculties result in a heady paradigm shift. Perhaps there are a few ways of tackling the artist's conceptual premise, whether you intake the music as cutting-edge progressive jazz or try and decode Machaut's medieval musical architectures within the jazz idiom. Either way, the results are gratifying.

At times hectic with stilting, probing or bending horns choruses it is interesting how Blaser also transforms Machaut's work into breezy jazz opuses and subtle melodic content, sometimes augmented with a bluesy swagger. But the leader doesn't play by one predetermined rule of thumb. For example, he arranges Machaut's "Dame, se vous mestes lointenne" into a semi-free jazz vibe, propelled by drummer Gerry Hemingway's rumbling intro leading to a stately odd-metered horns vamp, spiked with a tuneful hook that bridges classical and jazz. Riding above an asymmetrical groove, Hemingway goes on a tear, as the band notches it up for a garrulous finale. But the tide turns via pianist Russ Lossing's brooding phraseology on "Cantus Planus." However, Blaser divulges gobs of texture into the grand schema, largely noticeable on the capacious "Linea," where genial and quietly melodic horns are peppered by the rhythm section's brisk undercurrent, amped by Lossing's free-flight breakout. And on "Introit," the trombonist dishes out a blues-tinged solo atop a moody and darkly hued thematic buildup that morphs into a buoyant unison foray between Lossing and bassist Drew Gress, followed by Blaser and saxophonist Joachim Badenhorst's spiraling mode of attack.

Blaser triumphantly channels Machaut's groundbreaking Westernization of baroque music into an outside jazz perspective. In most cases, it is necessary to execute a seamless or transparent alignment of two disparate musical genres into a cohesive whole in order to achieve some degree of success. Accordingly, Blaser's fluid artistic visions and convictions are transmitted in such a way that would conceivably garner the attention of an extensive audience as he deconstructs borders by merging antiquity with a thoroughly hip panorama.

Track Listing: Hymn; Douce dame jolie; Saltarello; Dame, se vous m estes lointeinne; Color; Cantus Planus; De fortune me doiy pleindre et loer; Bohemia; Linea; Introit; Complainte: Tels rit au main qui au soir pleure.

Personnel: Samuel Blaser: trombone; Joachim Badenhorst: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet; Russ Lossing: piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer; Drew Gress: double bass; Gerry Hemingway: drums, percussion.

Title: A Mirror to Machaut | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
General Articles
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Oostum

Oostum

NoBusiness Records
2018

buy
Spring Rain

Spring Rain

Whirlwind Recordings
2015

buy
A Mirror to Machaut

A Mirror to Machaut

Songlines Recordings
2013

buy
As The Sea

As The Sea

Hatology
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "20" CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Long Time Gone/To Beat Or Not To Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Long Time Gone/To Beat Or Not To Beat
by Doug Collette
Published: January 6, 2018
Read "Vilddjur" CD/LP/Track Review Vilddjur
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2018
Read "Along Similar Lines" CD/LP/Track Review Along Similar Lines
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: September 3, 2018
Read "Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets)" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets)
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 3, 2018
Read "Ghost Box - Expanded" CD/LP/Track Review Ghost Box - Expanded
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 30, 2018