272

Mark Helias: Atomic Clock

By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Helias: Atomic Clock Mark Helias—his big steady bass and organic, his compositions ever-changing—continues to set the standard for making music that bears shape and direction but also celebrates the freedom to improvise openly and... er... loosely. For ten years he and his powerful trio have refined and broadened the scope of this music so by now the players share an ethos that allows them to explore what making music in a group means. It's three individuals bonded by the passion of collaboration.

Atomic Clock was documented by the brilliant and understanding John Rosenberg at Brooklyn's Barbès—the recorded sound and the venue giving the musicians the space to dig down and then soar. Helias is in the captain's seat yet he directs the enterprise in an ego-less fashion, thereby coaxing the fullest expressions from the other players. Saxophonist Tony Malaby and drummer Tom Rainey (and original Open Loose tenorist Ellery Eskelin added for one track) explore this music and—as Helias describes it—both construct and deconstruct the compositions. Repeated listenings help reveal what at first seems like some free-form wandering—and that's as it should be.

Particularly fetching are several of the slower and more deliberate-sounding tunes. "Chavez, as some Helias-ish notes indicates, suggests a spooky transmogrification from one Chavez into the modern one. "Zephyr is a dark and moody ballad that calls to mind Ornette and his disciple the late Dewey Redman, with whom Helias worked. The leader comes out of the opening statement with a solo that reminds us of his strong individual sound and the fact that it's so beautifully directed towards the totality of the music.

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

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

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


Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Koan" CD/LP/Track Review Koan
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!