A regular member of Tim Berne's Snakeoil and the Dave Douglas Quintet, pianist/keyboardist/composer Matt Mitchell has recently appeared on Rudresh Mahanthappa's Bird Calls (ACT Music, 2015) and Jonathan Finlayson's Moving Still (Pi Recordings, 2016). Mitchell has worked with a broad array of top-name artists including Steve Coleman, John Hollenbeck and Mario Pavone. Mitchell is a chameleon, able to take on completely different musical personas across of fast array of situations. His own Vista Accumulation (Pi Recordings, 2015) was one of the most highly regarded releases of that year. Frequently in demand, he has managed to produce ten albums as a leader or co-leader. The most recent, A Pouting Grimace, is an eclectic collection that defies categorization.
The very brief "Bulb Terminus" is a bit of programmed reverie that leads to the loosely structured "Plate Shapes," a multifaceted maelstrom of cadences and noises with an impulsive sense of movement. Irabagon and bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck spend much of the time searching for their own alternate routes. "Brim" is the centerpiece of A Pouting Grimace as it provides a platform for the development of the surrounding compositions. At the core of "Brim" is a phantasmagorical, full-ensemble mélange that feels omnidirectional and free-flowing. The longest piece on the album, "Sick Fields" is an episodic anomaly that moves in fits and starts; it is as unstoppable as it isat timesimpenetrable. "Ooze Interim" concludes the album with a floating, solo electronics performance from Mitchell.
The free nature, density and complexity of A Pouting Grimace does not give way to blowout solos or overall chaos. The musicians wander a marauder's map, at times, interacting with each other, or occasionally looking for their own opening. This is an album focused on detail; it can be identified in slight, contrasting hues and in unflinching statements. It is certainly a unique and challenging listen.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.