200

Blue Cranes: Blue Cranes

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Blue Cranes is the name of a Portland, Oregon-based jazz trio whose self-titled CD is an EP containing live performances. They describe their music as fusing "the repetitive elements of modern loop-based music with traditional and avant-garde jazz styles in an acoustic setting."

The music on Blue Cranes inevitably centers around the intriguing alto saxophonist Reed Wallsmith. He immediately grabs the listener through the sheer size of his sound. His tone is big, expressive, and marked by a warm vibrato. He takes chances when he plays, using a variety of tonal shadings and some vocalized effects. However, Wallsmith sometimes stumbles over his double-timing, which blunts the force of his ideas. On the other hand, he swings forcefully for the most part.

The greatest strength of Blue Cranes is their unity as a band. Wallsmith, bassist Keith Brush, and drummer Ji Tanzer anticipate each other's moves with considerable empathy, while Brush and Tanzer adroitly punctuate Wallsmith's lines. Their propulsive swing is especially evident on "Running Out" and ".30-06 Circus." Guitarist Johannes Haage is a definite asset when he appears. His comping adds depth to the sound, particularly on the rubato ballad "A Nicaragua."

Blue Cranes play entirely original material, with some tasty melodies and an attractive variety of rhythmic approaches. Harmonically, however, there seem to be similarities in each tune, resulting in a sameness in mood to this CD. Overall, however, this is a fine band, and Blue Cranes is a solid album.

Visit Blue Cranes on the web.


Track Listing: Running Out, .30-06 Circus, A Nicaragua, Crane.

Personnel: Reed Wallsmith, alto saxophone; Keith Brush, bass; Ji Tanzer, drums. Tracks 3, 4: Johannes Haage, guitar.

Year Released: 2005 | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Fellow Creatures" CD/LP/Track Review Fellow Creatures
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "More Than Meets The Ear" CD/LP/Track Review More Than Meets The Ear
by Troy Collins
Published: February 25, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by John Sharpe
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "OUTgoing" CD/LP/Track Review OUTgoing
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "New Shoots" CD/LP/Track Review New Shoots
by Mike Oppenheim
Published: March 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!