264

Return Of The New Thing: Alchemy

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Return Of The New Thing: Alchemy This quartet mines some open spaces with commitment but the results aren't really all that involving. This is due in no small part to the fact that their focus seems to ebb and flow. This results in music that's at some moments diffuse, and at others full of the kind of all-out intensity that's mostly rhetoric and little substance.

The three track titles refer only to the duration of each piece in minutes and seconds. That nominal approach applies to the music itself. "29.09" has entered a passage of squall by the time the sixth minute is reached and the result sounds like four musicians in search of an idea. Drummer Edward Perraud injects some levity into proceedings when he's not approaching his drums as though they deserved assault and battery, but his band mates seem intent on whipping up some kind of ecstatic storm the like of which is hit and miss in terms of impact. By the time the eleventh minute has rolled around that mood has dissolved and it's in such quieter passages that the music comes to life. Jean-Luc Guionnet stutters into his alto sax and the group imperative is clearly something other than sound for its own sake.

More or less the same aesthetic apply to "24.41," the opening of which finds the group looking into subtle, shaded dynamics. The result is compelling music with the very lack of volume contributing considerably to that end. By the eleventh minute however whatever mood they've managed to established has been slowly usurped by the evidently collective desire to thrash, although Francois Fuchs's bass holds to a darker, less nihilistic dynamic in its midst. The music seems to be on the verge of implosion at this point and it's to the group's credit that they hold the thing together.

Dan Warburton's piano sounds not unlike McCoy Tyner on "17.22," and indeed the spirit of the Coltrane quartet is summoned up in no uncertain terms for a time, albeit with the perhaps inevitable lack of that group's singular integral dynamic. Diffusion comes soon enough anyway, with the music losing out to sustained assault.


Track Listing: 29.09; 24.41; 17.22.

Personnel: Jean-Luc Guionnet: alto sax, soprano sax; Dan Warburton: violin, piano; Francois Fuchs: bass; Edward Perraud: percussion.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Not Two Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos" CD/LP/Track Review B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Ripple" CD/LP/Track Review Ripple
by Bob Kenselaar
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Sinking Houseboat Confusion" CD/LP/Track Review Sinking Houseboat Confusion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 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!