168

Andrew Rathbun: Affairs of State

By

Sign in to view read count
Andrew Rathbun: Affairs of State Andrew Rathbun is a Canadian-born tenor saxophonist resident in New York, a Brooklyn regular who has garnered support from fellow tenorists Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman as well as trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. That should give some sense of Rathbun's lineage. He's a thoughtful player and—true to the influence of Wheeler (and Booker Little) and the mid-'60s Miles Davis quintet—a skillful composer, honing a refined lyricism that explores challenging harmonic patterns.

He`s also interested in consistent partnerships. The quintet heard here includes two musicians, trumpeter Taylor Haskins and bassist John Hebert, who played on Rathbun's first quintet session, Scatter Some Stones (Challenge, 1998). Returning the favor, Rathbun has also appeared on Haskins' two Fresh Sound CDs. As one might expect, there's a close-knit feeling that extends from hand-in-glove ensemble playing to some understated contrapuntal improvising.

Rathbun likes extra-musical themes (two of his previous CDs have been poetry settings), and the pieces here reference the decline of America in the Bush years, from the Iraq war to collapsing infrastructure and luxury condos; however, the album's dominant moods are melancholy and resilience rather than rage, an introspective lyricism that wouldn't otherwise suggest the political theme. Rathbun's compositions use contrasting elements to create tension and develop texture, as in the antiphonal voicings of "Fragmented," the dissonant elegy of "We Have Nothing But Tears" and the effective use of sparkling electric piano on "Folly." His tenor sound possesses significant flexibility, from warm calm to gritty resistance; it's a fine match with Haskins, whose pitch inflections can add a sudden illumination.

The rhythm section—Herbert joined by pianist Gary Versace and drummer Mike Sarin—is a model of support, a loose and engaged presence balancing empathy and aggression with an almost orchestral breadth. The result is consistently thoughtful, well-crafted music in a mature idiom.


Track Listing: Fragmented; We Have Nothing But Tears; Around the Same Circles, Again and Again; Break the Chains; 5th Anniversary; Fiasco; Ongoing; Folly (of the Future Fallen); Paint Peelings.

Personnel: Andrew Rathbun: tenor saxophone; Taylor Haskins: trumpet; Gary Versace: piano; John Hebert: bass; Mike Sarin: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Montage" CD/LP/Track Review Montage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "The Only Way To Float Free" CD/LP/Track Review The Only Way To Float Free
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Very Early" CD/LP/Track Review Very Early
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Never Group" CD/LP/Track Review Never Group
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!