4

Andy Jaffe Nonet +4: Arc

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Andy Jaffe Nonet +4: Arc It is difficult to get past the opening, and title track, to Andy Jaffe's Nonet recording Arc. The reason being, it is a flawless piece of music as it is written, arranged and performed. There is just something about this little waltz that is cinematic, in both the sense that it feels like the soundtrack to a classic film and that it also projects a narrative in the mind. Jaffe weaves the Taiwanese Interestring Quartet into the seamless piece, but more about that later.

Could the remainder of the recording of the recording maintain the same level?

Jaffe, a pianist, composer, and educator has co-led the Bill Lowe-Andy Jaffe Repertory Big Band for decades now. His previous Playscape release was Mahattan Projections (2001), which was a re-release of a 1984 session with his former pupils, Branford Marsalis, Wallace Roney, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith.

Roney returns here alongside heavyweight saxophonist Jimmy Greene. Many listeners may be drawn by the two players, but both surrender any grandstanding in service to Jaffe and the music. Besides, the solos provided by fellow saxophonists Tom Olin, and Kris Allen are also quite exceptional.

The punch of "Brainworn" recalls those early 1960s Blue Note sessions where Alfred Lion was pleased when his artists inserted a swinging blues into a recording date. Jaffe includes two pieces he wrote for Max Roach's Double Quartet in the early 1980s. "Steve Biko," for the anti-apartheid activist and "Theme for the New Sixties. " Both pieces integrate a string quartet, not as an add-on, but a congruent piece of Jaffe's musical geometry. Both pieces maintain a forward momentum, with the string quartet ushered by bassist Marty Jaffe, and bass clarinetist Bruce Williamson.

Jaffe borrows a fragment of Duke Ellington's "Fleurette Africaine" to build his "Fleurette Chinoise," and arranges a carpet of nonet flourish as background to the soloists. "Go Down Moses," arranged for the saxophone quartet of Bruce Williamson soprano, Tom Olin baritone, Kris Allen alto, and Jimmy Greene switching to tenor, reveals just how lithe and graceful a sax quartet can be. Jaffe's arrangement takes on the heavy music with a sound light as a feather.

Track Listing: Arc; Brainworm; Steve Biko; In Case this is Goodbye; Fear of the Dark (miedo a la obscuridad); Fleurette Chinoise; Go Down Moses; Theme for the New Sixties; Now Then

Personnel: Andy Jaffe: piano; Wallace Roney: trumpet; John Clark: french horn; Kris Allen: alto saxophone; Jimmy Greene: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bruce Williamson: bass clarine, soprano saxophone; Tom Olin: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone; Marty Jaffe: bass; Jonathan Barber: drums; Wei- Jun Huang: 1st violin; Wei-Hsin Liu: 2nd violin; Chiee Yeh: viola; Jiro Yeh: cello.

Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Leaps In Leicester" CD/LP/Track Review Leaps In Leicester
by John Sharpe
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens" CD/LP/Track Review Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Miniatures" CD/LP/Track Review Miniatures
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!