For decades, the Boston-based musician Joe Maneri has pursued his singular vision of a freely improvised music based on extensive use of microtones. He often includes his son Mat in his projects. On Angles Of Repose , the Maneris are joined by the prodigiously gifted bassist Barre Phillips in a program of ten free improvisations.
These performances unfold gradually, often with one of the musicians playing a phrase, and the others reacting with variations on the opening phrase. The elder Maneri's instrument seems to emerge as a lead voice, with the strings entwining beneath him. Phillips plays many lines that consist of long arco tones. The younger Maneri, heard here on viola, demonstrates a gorgeous tone and an uncanny empathy with his father.
The Maneris inhabit an utterly unique sonic universe, one that took me considerable listening before I could comfortably dwell there. Their music has little rhythmic variety, to the point of achieving a sort of rubato stasis. However, when Joe plays clarinet, as on "Number Two," he favors long, fast phrases that acquire some momentum. Yet despite the seeming monotony here, concentrated listening reveals an attractive yearning quality. This quality occurs most often when the musicians converge on a collectively discovered tone or phrase that goes straight to the listener's heart.
But to these ears most of Angles Of Repose is spent in a search for a unity of sound that is too often elusive. Make no mistake, these are virtuoso musicians making highly original music, and concentrated listening will yield rewards to the committed listener. But I suspect that this album is best suited for those already familiar with the Maneris and their music.
Track Listing: Number One, Number Two, Number Three, Number Four, Number Five, Number Six, Number Seven, Number Eight, Number Nine, Number Ten.
Personnel: Joe Maneri, alto and tenor saxophones, clarinet; Barre Phillips, double-bass, Mat Maneri, viola.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
Login to your All About Jazz member account to submit articles and press releases, upload images, edit musician profiles, add events and business listings, communicate with other members via personal messages, submit inqueries or contribute any content.