Mark Helias' Open Loose: Atomic Clock

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Helias' Open Loose: Atomic Clock Bassist Mark Helias has a great band here. All three musicians, augmented by the second tenor sax of Ellery Eskelin on one track, are entirely in tune with each other, and this programme is notable for the high number of occasions when they seem to breathe as one. The perhaps deliberately woozy air of "Modern Scag" is a case in point. Malaby and Eskelin don't so much lock horns as they seem to agree on an approach that takes the music in an entirely different direction, with the spirit of cooperation emerging triumphant accordingly.

"Plantini" has a similar air about it, and proves in itself that this group is about a whole lot more than the mere display of energy levels and the incendiary qualities that might require; the fact of the matter is that whilst Malaby frequently dwells in the upper reaches of his horn, he manages to do so without sounding as though he is straining for effect.

The high-energy thing is not, however, beyond them, and such is the ambience of the opening "Subway" that the listener might just think that he or she is eavesdropping on a piece that could go on for a whole lot longer than it does.

Such is the nature of this trio that the ear might be repeatedly drawn to Malaby's contributions. This would however undermine the essentially democratic nature of the group. There is little of that soloist-with-accompaniment thing going on here, a point perhaps best exemplified by the too brief "Atomic Clock."

Range is also a hallmark, as per "Cinematic," pervaded as it is by the atmosphere of what can only be described as a dark ballad. The balance of light and shade that is thus struck overall is further reward, marking a recital by a group that knows its strengths and how to work with them.

Track Listing: Subway; Chavez; Cinematic; Momentum Interrupted; Modern Scag; Atomic Clock; Plantini; What Up; Zephyr; Many Nows.

Personnel: Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Mark Helias: bass; Tom Rainey: drums, percussion; Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone (5).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Radio Legs | Style: Modern Jazz


More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "La Diversité" CD/LP/Track Review La Diversité
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Alameda Gardens" CD/LP/Track Review Alameda Gardens
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Bactrian" CD/LP/Track Review Bactrian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 7, 2016
Read "B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos" CD/LP/Track Review B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Chance Meeting" CD/LP/Track Review Chance Meeting
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Lea Áigi" CD/LP/Track Review Lea Áigi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!

Buy it!