Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
  • Koan by AAJ Italy Staff
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
  • Koan by Mark Corroto
Profiles
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Pillars

Pillars

Firehouse 12 Records
2018

buy
Verisimilitude

Verisimilitude

Pi Recordings
2017

buy
Alloy

Alloy

Pi Recordings
2015

buy
Alloy

Alloy

Pi Recordings
2014

buy
 

Oblique-I

Firehouse 12 Records
2011

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun22Sat
Vijay Iyer
Berlind Theatre At McCarter Theatre Center
Princeton, NJ
$25

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019