All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

108

Mike Pride’s From Bacteria to Boys: Betweenwhile

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Mike Pride is nothing if not busy, as a list of past collaborators including Milford Graves, George Lewis and Mary Halvorson shows. Such collaborations inevitably testify to his range, as does Betweenwhile, the second release by his working quartet. The trouble might be, however, that this very range dilutes the group's identity.

Thus the two Thelonious Monkian minutes of "Rose" are in contrast with the knottily Anthony Braxtonian "It Doesn't Stop," where alto saxophonist Darius Jones has to negotiate all sorts of musical quirks, suggestive of the relentless pace of modern life, at least at first. When things settle down, after the first couple of minutes, the contrast is marked, sounding almost as if starting an entirely new piece.

"Emo Hope" is a kind of sprightly contemporary ballad which elicits some of Jones' most affecting work. Pride also shows what a quietly effective drummer he can be, in the way that he colors the proceedings. The resulting palette is rich, which makes the group's more customary restlessness seem a little wearing. It's never contrived or hewn for effect, but there's a timeless virtue in letting the music speak for itself, as everyone from Muggsy Spanier to Marion Brown has shown.

Pianist Alexis Marcelo comes up with some Cecil Taylor-like volcanics on the lengthy "Reese Witherspoon," but this is, again, simply an episode in a piece so multifaceted that it offers stark contrast to "12 Lines for Build," which builds in an entirely individual way. Here, the episodic nature of the music feels right because it possesses an air of collective expression, of things happening in the moment. Jones is astringent to the point where it sounds like a purged expression of everything inessential, and that's hardly a common thing these days.

The flickering blue flame of "Surcharge" hints, too, at the possibility of the band as a work in progress, making apparent just how deep the players' mutual understanding is, for all its episodic flares. In the accompanying press release Pride talks about how he now considers the band as family, and here, more than anywhere else, the notion comes into its own. The level of listening on the part of all four players is deep and, despite the higher profile contributions of Jones and Marcelo, it's actually bassist Peter Bitenc's work that snags the ear.

Track Listing: Kancamagus; Reese Witherspoon; Rose; It Doesn't Stop; Emo Hope; Bole: the Mouth of What?; Inbetweenwhile; Surcharge; 12 Lines for Build; Kancamagus.

Personnel: Darius Jones: alto saxophone; Peter Bitenc: bass; Alexis Marcelo: piano; Mike Pride: drums.

Title: Betweenwhile | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Humanities CD/LP/Track Review
Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Wild Is The Wind CD/LP/Track Review
Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review
Fairytales
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Tribute to Bobby" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Bobby
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 5, 2017
Read "The 1960 Sessions with George Duvivier and Max Roach" CD/LP/Track Review The 1960 Sessions with George Duvivier and Max Roach
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984" CD/LP/Track Review J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984
by Chris May
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek" CD/LP/Track Review Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 20, 2017