149

Dominic Duval's String and Brass Ensemble: American Scrapbook

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Just the instrumentation lets you know your ears are in for a unique listening experience. Bassist and leader Dominic Duval has gathered a sextet featuring a string trio of Jason Hwang (violin), Tomas Ulrich (cello), and himself with a horn trio of long-time associate Joe McPhee (playing exclusively cornet), Tom Varner (French horn), and Steve Swell (trombone). There's a cohesive feeling throughout to the release. Other than the exquisite arrangement and interpretation of "Round Midnight", the traditional "Amazing Grace" and the mood-setting opening and closing statements of two quite different takes on "America" (heard at least one too many times in this last year, though assuredly NEVER like this), seven of the eight remaining tracks are collective originals by the String and Brass Ensemble sextet. The very contemplative vibe felt throughout is a result of the balance achieved as each musician takes his turn in soaring, not necessarily soloing, just a thread over the rest of the ensemble. Like a bird flying just ahead of its flock or a team bicyclist leading the pack before gradually retreating back into the body of the group, the process is succesfully repeated in a colorful yet meditative fashion.

A very listenable session, this music is intended for a comfortable sit down between the speakers. The magic created from such collective interplay is usually intended to be captured live, as recordings never seem to do the musicians, let alone the spirit of the music, justice. However, this session captured on disc by CIMP's minimalist operation not only contradicts that theory, it gives further credence to the argument that music was never intended to be categorized. "Jazz" is truly one of the vaguest terms you will come across, and Duval's String and Brass Ensemble have created something which can fit into many music departments. Take it for what it is - something that makes you realize the beauty of truly good music.



This review first appeared in the November 2002 issue of All About Jazz: New York .

Personnel: Dominic Duval (bass), Jason Hwang (violin), Tomas Ulrich (cello), Joe McPhee (cornet), Tom Varner (French horn), and Steve Swell (trombone).

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: CIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Live in New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live in New York
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos" CD/LP/Track Review B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Festen" CD/LP/Track Review Festen
by John Sharpe
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Glare of the Tiger" CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Doug Collette
Published: August 17, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!