Trumpeter Erik Jekabson likes to stroll through San Francisco's DeYoung Museum and imagine what the visual works there would sound like. In league with his Sting-tet ensemble, he explores the textures and colors, the harmonies and melodies of these artworks, translating them into sounds on Anti-Mass
. Teaming with violin, viola, saxophone, bass and drum, and with the occasional addition of vibes, he paints a vibrant variety of sounds that stretch from chamber jazz to third stream, from avant-garde to The Big Easy.
"Silence" opens with a subtle swell of strings punctuated by a clean sustain of drummer Smith Dobson
's vibes, before Jekabson makes a methodically majestic statement, a brief introduction to the music that segues into "Strontium," the aural image of a bright, noisy and bustling cityscape, the horn and saxophone dancing and elbowing each other over the wailing strings.
The CD's centerpiece is the magnificent, fifteen minute-plus title tune, with its fractured opening moving into a section of classical-sounding deliberation, evolving into a feisty, swinging New Orleans jam and then slipping into something sounding like an outtake from a hoedown.
"Portrait of Miss D" is the sound of a jazzy, swinging lady, the horns straight-ahead and the strings injecting a mood of violinist Stephane Grappelli
's Hot Club De France. The strings are in the center with a dark gleam on "The Cello Player," while "To Be DeYoung Again" drives hard with buoyant energy. The closing "Afternoon on the Sea, Monaghan" showcases saxophonist Dayna Stephens
' gorgeously pensive and poetic blowing.
The DeYoung Museum houses a wide array of visual artworks. Jekabson has taken them in, and with the help of his String-tet has translated some of the sights into a beautiful set of sounds that are not easily categorized.
Track Listing: Silence; Strontium; Park Stroll; A New Beginning; Interlude 1; Anti-Mass; Interlude 2; Portrait of Miss D; The Cello Player; To Be DeYoung Again; Afternoon on the Sea; Monhegan.
Personnel: Erik Jekabosn: trumpet, flugelhorn (4), vibes (11); Dayna Stephens: tenor saxophone; Mads Tolling: violin; Charith Prewardhana: viola; John Witala: bass; Smith Dobson: drums, vibes (1, 5, 7).
Year Released: 2012
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream