337

Henning Sieverts Symmetry: Blackbird

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Henning Sieverts Symmetry: Blackbird The The Beatles are given the dominant spot on Blackbird, but most of the music comes here from bassist/cellist Henning Sieverts. Sieverts—who has a long history of composition, having written for string ensembles, the theater, and groups of various size—locks in jazz and classical music, both in their individual frames and in an elegant blend, making for an alluring record.

Sieverts has an ear for melody and he weaves a rich tapestry of motif and mood. His arrangements work in tandem, bringing in tension and flow, much of the former coming from the interaction between clarinetist/saxophonist Chris Cheek and trombonist Johannes Lauer. "Half-Brain Dream," with its shifting tempo and pulse, finds the two interlocking lines, creating arches, and letting the tide of improvisation ride above the ticking bass and drums. The swinging "Wingswing" is structured, but the bounce is soon cast aside as the two shadow each other with lithe elliptical lines that contrast its churning rhythm. Pianist Achim Kaufmann takes it into the mainstream with a flow of fertile ideas; the dynamics have changed but the pulse is constantly engaging.

The balmy air of folk music wraps its wings around "E Bird," articulated by Chris Cheek on clarinet. He lets the song seep in and linger as Sieverts plays a plaintive cello, with Kaufmann marking emphatic chords and drummer John Hollenbeck adding splashes of color on the cymbals to introduce contrasting elements.

"Blackbird / Wenn Ich Ein Voglein War" make an interesting pairing. The former takes shape gradually, the lines drawn by Kaufmann and Lauer and then given shape by Cheek. But the pattern is fluid and the transition of the tune is never predictable. The latter is a melodic folk tune, with Cheek tipping his clarinet into the sweetness. Seiverts adds the tang, ruffling the bottom with rumbling bass lines.

Not all of the tunes are about birds. Charlie Parker's "Blues For Alice" finds a comfort zone helmed by Cheek, whose tonality and sense of time and pace are one of the highlights of the album. Kaufmann invents thematic adjuncts before the edge is captured by Cheek and Lauer, who play the melody backwards.

Seiverts shows a fine sense for creating music that is tangible and gripping, and in doing so serves up a rich and often sumptuous experience.


Track Listing: Wingswing; Dribs and Drabs; Ubaramarabu; Penguin Promenade; Rebird; Twittering Machine; Blackbird / Wenn Ich Ein Voglein War; Low Owl; Gale in Night, Nightingale; E Bird; Half-Brain Dream; Blues For Alice; O. M.'s Birdsday.

Personnel: Henning Sieverts: bass, cello; Chris Speed: clarinet, tenor saxophone; Johannes Lauer: trombone; Achim Kaufmann: piano; John Hollenbeck: drums.

Title: Blackbird | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Pirouet Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Pandora's Bag CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Sounding Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Live at PafA" CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "8th Window" CD/LP/Track Review 8th Window
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Boston, 1954" CD/LP/Track Review Boston, 1954
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Cross-Platform Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Cross-Platform Interchange
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Copenhagen Live 1964" CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 30, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!