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Much of the music on Ancient Pines was improvised, which turns out to be just fine for the agile minds of Tim O'Dell and Tatsu Aoki. Both have the ability to pick up a thread and unravel it in distinct patterns, a craft that is stimulated by the empathy they share. O'Dell is an open, lyrical player who can unfurl a wide range of ideas at a dizzying pace. Aoki, as he has shown over the vast range of his recordings, is not only an innovative bassist but one who knows how to be the right complement.
The centerpiece is the title track, which comes as a three-part suite. The music travels along several roads, getting off into the swing of things with Ryan Shultz, whose bass trumpet is the mouthpiece for some fine ideas that are egged on by his tonality. Sharp lines cut their path, thick ones convolute and smear, and when O'Dell brings in curling lines that slip in and out, the whole edifice resonates. The foundation, of course, has been firmly secured by Aoki. Contrast comes in the mid-segment as a calmer mood wafts across, the playing wide open and spacey, the interplay connecting and creating an appealing atmosphere. The final part flows beautifully, the horns in consonance, the bass unobtrusive yet adding to the pith.
"Sneaky is quite a different tune. It bops along quite nicely indeed, O'Dell hitting all the juicy high notes, Aoki doing a quick walking line. Then there is "Come Here, a completely improvised tune where O'Dell designs hypnotic concepts that capture the imagination, showing that understanding between musicians can create an indelible spirit, even in an open-ended situation.
Track Listing: Textual; The Drive; Toddler; Anticipation; Rise & Fall; Ancient Pines Suite:
Fanfare/Squirrels, Old Growth, Majestic Perspectives; Come Here; Opinions; You Cant Find
Me; Aphelion; Sneaky
Personnel: Tim ODell: alto, soprano saxophones; Tatsu Aoki: bass; Ryan Shultz: bass trumpet (6).
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.