114

BANN: As You Like

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Not to be confused with the British Association of Neuroscience Nurses, or the Builders Association of Northern Nevada, BANN—the brainchild of drummer Adam Nussbaum—is a quartet which nevertheless matches brain with brawn. Saxophonist Seamus Blake, bassist Jay Anderson, Nussbaum and guitarist Oz Noy pool their initials and their considerable individual talents, to create a vibrant, swinging unit with empathy in abundance. There's a veritable spring in the quartet's collective step, and a buoyancy that permeates the playing on As You Like. The four musicians sound as if they really enjoy playing together, and a fine balance is struck between individual virtuosity and group interplay.

Anderson and Nussbaum have played in numerous settings over thirty years, and provide the most solid of foundations from which Noy and Blake launch narratives of flair and imagination. Blake's rippling, old school tenor and Noy's contemporary edge are like chalk and cheese in their unison lines on "All the Things You Are," a vibrant interpretation of the Jerome Kern classic. New life is breathed into another oldie, pianist Thelonious Monk's "Played Twice"; Blake's mature, dry tone and inventive lines are reminiscent of Charlie Rouse, who played tenor on the original half a century ago, while Anderson's solo skips and shuffles with a very Monk-like logic. Nussbaum and Noy keep everyone on their toes by slipping a wispy, reggae-ish rhythm into the tune, and Oz's knotty, blues-toned solo contains vocabulary running from hard-bop to fusion.

The quartet's in meditative mood on a beautiful interpretation of David Crosby's "Guinnevere." Gently seductive bass, feathery drums and Frisellian loops provide the canvas for Blake to unfurl a wonderful solo, which weds yearning melancholy and quiet power. The musicians are equally at home on Anderson's racing "Will Call," an intense bop exercise which has the rousing signature sound of a first-set closer. By contrast, Anderson's tender intro sets the tone for Nussbaum's balladic "Days of Old," a captivating piece of nostalgia which seems much shorter than its actual five minutes. Co-written by all four musicians, "As You Like" bridges the years between '60s hard-bop and more contemporary fare, courtesy of Noy's snarling solo, with its swampy, blues flavor.

Anderson's beautiful "At Sundown" gets a dusting down nearly twenty years after it was written, and given spit and polish by Noy's bottle-neck guitar, which lends a dreamy Hawaiian air to a tune which dances like a slow calypso. Almost as enchanting is Noy's "Minor Shuffle," which carries a simply lovely melody; Blake and Noy stretch out over the swinging rhythm section, with Noy sounding like a bad-assed Wes Montgomery, with the bit between the teeth. A splendid version of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson's "Isotope" takes the quartet out on a high, with Blake and Noy leaving big imprints of great contrast on this hard-swinging classic.

BANN draws its inspiration chiefly from the jazz tradition, but displays an utterly contemporary visage on this grooving set of reinvented standards, one inspired cover, and particularly strong originals. There's a special chemistry at work on As You Like, producing quite magical results.

Track Listing: All The Things You Are; Played Twice; Guinnevere; Will Call; Days of Old; As You Like; At Sundown; Minor Shuffle; Isotope.

Personnel: Seamus Blake: tenor saxophone; Oz Noy: guitar; Jay Anderson: double bass; Adam Nussbaum: drums.

Title: As You Like | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Jazz Eyes


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Expanding Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Expanding Heart
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Upbeat And Sweet" CD/LP/Track Review Upbeat And Sweet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "Burn The Boat" CD/LP/Track Review Burn The Boat
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Behind The Mist" CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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