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
227

Anthony Ortega: Afternoon In Paris

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Anthony Ortega: Afternoon In Paris The quixotic enthusiasm of Hatology Records' chief Werner X. Uehlinger for the idiosyncratic music of one- time Lionel Hampton sideman Anthony Ortega continues with this release of a series of solo performances and saxophone-bass duets recorded in 2002 and 2005. The link to Ortega's quiet classic in the sax-bass vein, New Dance (Hatology, 1966), is made explicit with the inclusion of a previously unreleased version of "Ornithology" from that session. Brighter and bouncier than the post-millennium material on the rest of the disc, the '66 Charlie Parker cover shows just how much Ortega owes to Bird—and how little.

Ortega's stylistic tropes are well developed here. Some tracks open with a long, oblique, skirting around the tune ("Ask Me Now," "I'll Remember April"); elsewhere, Ortega honks a strident declamation of the theme ("Blue Monk," "Now's The Time"). Sometimes he does both in the same track. The spare instrumentation allows Ortega to be playful with the timekeeping, slowing down and then accelerating the tempo to expressive effect. His approach to soloing will recall other players, but is genuinely his: listen to the vertiginous up-and-down-the-scales patterns he creates on "Jupiter" for a sample of his broad array of influences (Parker, clearly, but also a number of earlier players of the Benny Carter hey day, with a nod to later approaches).

On paper, everything about Ortega suggests an artist who dwells somewhat obscurely in the interstices of accepted jazz categories and historical categories (swing, post bop, free,...). Never sure whether you're dealing with an acolyte of Carter, Lee Konitz, Ornette Coleman or Anthony Braxton, you're hard pressed to place Ortega on your mental jazz map: he risks falling through the cracks.

But the aural evidence on this record suggests just the opposite. "THIS is the way this composition—"Blue Monk," "Now's The Time"—should be heard," Ortega seems to be saying to us. "Listen!" And so we should.


Track Listing: Ask Me Now; Jupiter; Blue Monk; I'll Remember April; Now's The Time; Afternoon in Paris; One; Open Spaces; Ornithology.

Personnel: Anthony Ortega: alto saxophone, flute, piano; Kash Killion: double bass (1,2,6,7), cello (4); Chuck Domanico: double bass (9).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Hatology | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Afternoon In Paris
Afternoon In Paris
Hatology
2007
buy
[no cover]
A Man And His Horns
RCA
2003
buy
[no cover]
On Evidence
RCA
1992
buy
[no cover]
New Dance!
RCA
1990
buy
[no cover]
Rain Dance
RCA
1978
buy
[no cover]
Permutations
RCA
1968
buy
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker
sax, alto
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
reeds
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
sax, soprano
Dave Wilson Dave Wilson
saxophone
Mark O'Leary Mark O'Leary
guitar
Tony Malaby Tony Malaby
sax, tenor
Rickey Woodard Rickey Woodard
saxophone
Alexei Zoubov Alexei Zoubov
sax, tenor
Janet Planet
vocalist

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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