In his relatively brief tenure as a professional jazz musician who derives influences from classical music studies and John Cage-tinted abstractions, Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser's craft teems with curiously interesting applications and concepts. He's recorded for other prominent European record labels, but debuts on the historic Swiss-based hatOLOGY label with Boundless.
Blaser imparts a penchant for innovation, fusing experimentation with structure and loosely organized tenets within a larger compositional picture, and his band of proven futurists share a common plight via resolute expansionism. "Boundless Suite, Part 4" is engineered on a staggered sequence of rhythmic variations. Bassist Banz Oester's organic sound and limber parts offer a rugged underpinning in concert with drummer Gerald Cleaver's dynamic polyrhythmic pulse. Here, Blaser leads the musicians through a portentous set of introspective phrasings, boisterous breakouts and subtle textures. It's a calm-before-the-storm effect, highlighted by the trombonist's corpulent lines, instilled with pathos and swarming cadenzas.
Guitar hero Marc Ducret's angular and splintering notes foretell a twisted plot, as the band descends into a dark canyon, soliciting imagery of obstacles encountered along the way. But Cleaver flips the cards with his punishing drum patterns, segueing the bridge into a doomsday rock groove, where the quartet concludes on a quiet note.
Blaser transmits a formidable presence to complement a scientific approach within the artsy side of jazz. He attains a symmetrical balance that unites the best of many musical tangents and song forms, construed with an open-world mindset.
Personnel: Samuel Blaser: trombone; Marc Ducret: electric guitar; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Banz Oester: contrabass.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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