Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

7

Tyshawn Sorey: Alloy

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey's fourth release as a leader, the intriguingly mystical Alloy, is a stimulating study of contrasts. The four, long Sorey originals are simultaneously expansive and intimate, somber yet with moments of subtle vibrance and stately yet brimming with spontaneity.

Sorey sticks to his main ax the drum set on the album as he deftly collaborates with his two sidemen through the intricacies of his own compositions while himself shunning the spotlight. Pianist Cory Smythe demonstrates his western classical training and his improvisational chops on his unaccompanied performance that makes up almost half of "A Love Song," the pièce de résistance of the disc. Smythe's contemplative mix of silent pauses and resonant notes evolve with intelligent clarity as the pianist exquisitely reconciles the prewritten with the ad-lib. Bassist Christopher Tordini's lyrical pizzicato complements Smythe's solemn tones as their duet expands over Sorey's gently crashing cymbals and unrestrained rhythmic flourishes.

The trio, with their sparse beats, reverberations and key strikes, create a dark and expectant atmosphere on "Returns." Their interplay, however, transforms into a percussive and delightfully noisy free extemporization with natural grace and sophisticated elegance.

Tordini's poignant con arco phrases create the eerie atmosphere on "Template." The tune seamlessly progresses from a pensive, ethereal dialogue between Tordini and Smythe to a funk infused three-way exchange as Sorey's thunderous drums join the group. Smythe's rolling vamps, Tordini's swaggering strings and Sorey's loose swing close the piece in a soulful mood.

The ensemble exhibits a superb balance between the cerebral and the emotive on the melancholic "Movement." Splashes of pastel hues and lilting harmonies alternate with intricate and provocative angular melodic fragments before the nocturnesque conclusion.

Unlike others who fuse jazz and chamber music, Sorey does not merely blend the identifying elements of each genre into a palatable hybrid. With Alloy he deconstructs each style to its core elements and distils a single artistic experience that is viscerally moving, intellectually rousing while maintaining a charming and ingenious singularity.

Track Listing: Returns; Movement; Template; A Love Song.

Personnel: Tyshawn Sorey: drums; Cory Smythe: piano; Christopher Tordini: bass.

Title: Alloy | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Pi Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Solo a Genoa CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genoa
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "IIII+IIII" CD/LP/Track Review IIII+IIII
by James Nadal
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Sounding Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "LifeCycle" CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: October 24, 2017