233

Jon Crowley: At the Edge

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
There's a mysteriously haunting and melancholic presence to trumpeter Jon Crowley''s At the Edge. In a way, the elongated melodies, tonal shadings and ensemble colorings seem Impressionistic; there are layers of sound—textural gemstones, displayed via minimalist melodic segments, like a beautiful haiku.

All thirteen of At the Edge's cuts are Crowley originals. His composer's pen lays broad, wide strokes with subtle flair. While the general format is subdued, a relaxed tension permeates the presentation. This is thoughtful and thought-provoking music.

Crowley's tone is highly personal; masculine, yet sensitive in timbre. His improvisational approach—in a domain within the lines and spaces of the staff—is subtle, more restrained and capable of emotional range. Longer, melismatic lines are his wheelhouse, and there are no pyrotechnics here; it takes instrumental maturity to hold back and not let the ego burst away with technical showmanship. While there's a sense of freedom of expression, Crowley tends to gravitate to tonality and lyricism as opposed to more outside-the-changes playing.

Crowley has amassed an outstanding ensemble with a collective focus. Saxophonist Jeremy Udden flitters faster and brilliantly, as well. In keeping with the elegant restraint here, his solos complement Crowley's nicely. Julian Waterfall Pollack's Fender Rhodes—an exquisite production touch—scurries about Chick Corea-like, exchanging bursts and fragments with extended ribbons of marvelously slick ideas. Bassist Julian Smith and drummer Ziv Ravitz fall in step, supporting both melodies and solos with fervor.

The shorter segments of the set frame the other longer selections nicely. At the Edge possesses a unique solidity, a consistency of thematic concept; no one cut overtakes another, yet each stands alone, revolving around the others. Never over the edge, Crowley and his group admirably deliver some ambitious compositions with restrained abandon on At the Edge.

Track Listing: In Real Life; Find Me; ...And then one day, it's all over; At the Edge; Remembering the Details; Sadness, Suffering, Hope Triumph; Because You Believe; Progress; Because You Care; Shine; Patience; Fixation; These Four Walls.

Personnel: Jon Crowley: trumpet; Fender Rhodes (7); Jeremy Udden: alto saxophone; Julian Pollack: Fender Rhodes, acoustic piano; Julian Smith: acoustic bass; Ziv Ravitz: drums.

Title: At the Edge | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Lonely Crow Records

About Jon Crowley
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Watch

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read A View From Within
A View From Within
By Dan Bilawsky
Read Fish & Steel
Fish & Steel
By Karl Ackermann
Read Ten
Ten
By David A. Orthmann
Read Aftermath
Aftermath
By Jack Bowers
Read Absolutely Dreaming
Absolutely Dreaming
By Friedrich Kunzmann
Read Baikamo
Baikamo
By Karl Ackermann