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Former Thelonious Monk competition winner, pianist Bobby Avey has been creating a buzz in the jazz community based on the strengths of his three previous solo outings. Yet Authority Melts From Me is his first quintet led outing, inspired by his respect for the people of Haiti and the slave revolt, leading to the country's independence from France in 1804. Here, Avey aligns with a mega-talented supporting cast who respectively add their distinctive voices to his intricately designed oeuvres via numerous spellbinding motifs, simmering solo excursions and astute compositional approach.
The 17-minute "Louverture" is a mini epic-like work that showcases Avey's dense fabrications and multi-purposed thought processes. He launches the piece with fleet-fingered voicings amid a faint Caribbean theme, subsequently forming a nucleus with bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Jordan Perlson. Here, the trio dishes out a contrapuntal, odd-metered groove followed by saxophonist Miguel Zenon's jaw-dropping flurries and whirling choruses. However, the tide turns and Avey's subtle phrasings allude to an interminable void, where guitarist Ben Monder uses shadowy electronics effects, signaling a interstellar journey of sorts. But the quintet takes action and rebuilds the previous scenario with more fireworks, amplified by Monder's distortion guitar techniques and Zenon's spiraling sax lines, all executed within the heat of passion. Hence, Avey hits his stride and permeates a musical persona that rockets into the outlying regions of progressive jazz.
Personnel: Bobby Avey: piano; Miguel Zenon: alto saxophone; Ben Monder: guitar; Thomson Kneeland: bass; Jordan Perlson: drums.