Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

5

Samuel Blaser Quartet: As The Sea

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Allocating his time between Europe and New York City, Swiss-born trombone maestro Samuel Blaser has recorded for prominent record labels, specializing in the outside jazz realm. Thus, As The Sea is the quartet's follow-up to Boundless (hatOLOGY, 2011). Blaser's recognizable plight to lay out nouveau frontiers remains a continuum. No wonder why he's garnered the assistance of such reputable instrumentalists. Otherwise, the program contains a flux of contrapuntal statements. His musicality imparts breathy expansionism amid swarming movements that are purposely chaotic, and feature improvisation that at times seems to be somewhat calculated by design. Nonetheless, Blaser allows the band to remain flexible whether it's banging out semi-structured grooves or floating through wily dialogues, tinged with his drawling extended notes, blended tonalities and splintering runs.

French guitar titan Marc Ducret's winding, distortion-laced voicings add a bit of clamor and angst to the vibrant game-plan. On the flip side, Blaser's compositions are mosaics, and it's not largely about free-form riffing. The quartet can float like a butterfly or hammer motifs into submission. Hence "As The Sea, Part 4" is an extraordinary work, where Blaser unifies a breezy, lighthearted and off-the-cuff melody into challenging group-centric unison choruses via Frank Zappa-like cohesion and precision. With bluesy undertones and drummer Gerald Cleaver's swaggering pulse steering the midsection, the band mixes it up. However, Ducret offers a change of scenery by going on a relentless tear that equates to a musical supernova. Moving forward, the quartet revisits the primary theme for the finale.

Blaser's multifaceted dynamics and insightful compositional acumen sparks a massive body of knowledge, seasoned with the instrumentalists' impressive technical faculties and sympathetic treatments under the canopy. Indeed, a striking exposition from this nascent talent who artfully defies mainstream principles and packs a mighty punch along the way.

Track Listing: As The Sea Part I; As Th Sea Part II; As The Sea Part III; As The Sea Part IV.

Personnel: Samuel Blaser: trombone; Marc Ducret: guitar; Bänz Oester: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Title: As The Sea | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Chimeric Stoned Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Chimeric Stoned Horn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "In The Green Castle" CD/LP/Track Review In The Green Castle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "Dimebag" CD/LP/Track Review Dimebag
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Tales From A Forbidden Land" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From A Forbidden Land
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017