Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

277

Scanner with the Post Modern Jazz Quartet: Blink of An Eye

Lyn Horton By

Sign in to view read count
From the very first sounds heard on Blink of An Eye's "Shadow Splice," a ground is gradually established with bass piano chords, a minor-key string bass arco line, a floating vibe resonance and steady pulse rising from the cymbals.

As the Duke Ellingtonian "Blues In C" evokes, the source of improvisational music is the tradition of jazz. No argument. But over time, the tools feeding into that tradition change and become a go-to part of the instrumental inventory, more so now than in the nascent application of electronics by Miles Davis or Ornette Coleman. British musician, Robin Rimbaud, aka Scanner, masterfully integrates electronic sounds into the acoustic brilliance that emanates from the foursome of the Post Modern Jazz Quartet. The electronics are responsible for the sonic details that the acoustic instruments cannot create. These details unite the spaces between the radiance illuminated by the acoustic instruments and perceptual imagination.

Each acoustic musician clearly has his own voice; collectively, these voices weave through and interact with a multiplicity of synthetically generated organ-like drones, multi-string and chord simulation, static or oscillating chatter, blip ostinatos, siren codas, specifically pitched hums, haunting wind washes, and desirable beat-box overloads. In kind, Rimbaud steers the electronic voice through the acoustic performances, participating in the group like anyone else. He even performs his own solo in "Dreaming With You At My Side."

The sound character of the acoustic instruments looms large. Pianist Matthew Shipp's repeated chords and beautiful melodic phrases are indomitable; he even goes inside the piano to counter the Scanner's digital configurations in "The Decisive Moment." To complement the inclusion of binary-ridden electronics, Khan Jamal's flawless and discrete mallet gestures interlock into a glorious ringing over the intense bass tonality. As exemplified in "Most With The Least," bassist Michael Bisio plays nothing less than healthy pulsating pizzicatos which are never lost midst the Hertz-ian phantasmagoria that fills the atmosphere. How drummer Michael Thompson and Bisio together maintain the rhythm puts to rest the notion that an electronically driven beat supersedes whatever humans can do, especially when both musicians are playing within the same time structure to which electronics singularly contribute.

The "Post" in Post Modern Jazz Quartet is not simply a prefix chosen by chance to defer to the name of the great Modern Jazz Quartet. "Post" means "after," implying that improvised music has to graduate to a contemporary state of mind and needs to be accepted in present time for the explorations it engenders rather than being trapped, never to evolve out of the old school. Even members of the old school, like Duke Ellington, might be the first to say "Bravo!" In Blink of An Eye, Scanner invents riveting arpeggios similar to those Charlie Parker once presented on his alto sax to club audiences. They looked askance at this new music at first, but, eventually came back, repeatedly, for more.

Track Listing: Shadow Splice; Blues In C; A Galaxy Of Winking Dots; Not A Frame Earlier Or Later; Involuntary Reflex; Most With the Least; Dreaming Of You At My Side; The Decisive Moment; Cuts And Shadows; Beyond The Edge Of The Frame.

Personnel: Robin Rimbaud: producer; Khan Jamal: vibraphone; Matthew Shipp: piano; Michael Bisio: bass; Michael Thompson: drums.

Title: Blink Of An Eye | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Lucille" CD/LP/Track Review Lucille
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Migration Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Two in a Box" CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Tilt" CD/LP/Track Review Tilt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "The Eleventet - Please Call" CD/LP/Track Review The Eleventet - Please Call
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "From the Nocturnal Chironian" CD/LP/Track Review From the Nocturnal Chironian
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 14, 2017