16

Alexandra Grimal: Andromeda

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Alexandra Grimal: Andromeda French saxophonist Alexandra Grimal composed this symphony of minimalist chamber music while watching a starry night at the MacDowell Colony, the United States' oldest arts enclave. For this ambitious composition, she enlists guitarist Todd Neufeld, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, the trio that recorded Sorey's majestic Koan (482 Music, 2009) three years ago.

Similar to Koan, Grimal's Andromeda resists categorization. It is an intimate exploration of the relation between time, sound and space that tends to be ethereal and minimalist in spirit. Grimal is an equal partner to the other musicians, though on the longest pieces, Sorey is the dominant player. The tone is spare, almost weightless; restrained and ascetic, silence is often used as a key element. The progression of each part of this symphony moves patiently and methodically amongst each of its sonic articulations.

After two short, Morton Feldman-esque abstract and minimalist pieces, "Cassiopée"—one of the composition's three longest parts—progresses gently, as if each of the spare sonic expressions carries significant weight. Suddenly, it blossoms from its former severity into short, playfully improvised interplay that than withdraws again into a minimalist conclusion. "Algieba" moves slowly between contemplative, short components, shapes and dynamics until it manifest itself as a powerful cohesive piece.

Sorey and Morgan construct the gentle flow of "Ulysse," one of the less minimal pieces that, instead, references chamber jazz. Over its rhythmic flow, Grimal and Neufeld touch and go with their brief improvisations. The title piece concludes this cerebral, sonic journey; haunting, it combines the light and playful narrative and quiet, minimalist aesthetic of the symphony's first parts.

A truly unique and captivating sonic journey.

Track Listing: Little Step; Orion; Cassiopée; Algieba; Ulysse; Andromeda.

Personnel: Alexandra Grimal: tenor and soprano saxophones; Todd Neufeld: acoustic and electric guitars; Thomas Morgan: double bass; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.

Title: Andromeda | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Ayler Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Crystal Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Live with a Boom" CD/LP/Track Review Live with a Boom
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "PointCounterPoint" CD/LP/Track Review PointCounterPoint
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: September 9, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.