274

Heath Watts and Dan Pell: Breathe If You Can

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Heath Watts and Dan Pell: Breathe If You Can Philadelphia residents, soprano saxophonist Heath Watts and drummer Dan Pell, improvise with relentless passion here. But they uncannily combine a tight-knit vibe while simultaneously expanding their repertoire via an angular, intuitive and muscular gait. Inspired by visual artists such as Kandinsky and Picasso, the saxophonist coins his methodology, NODOT (Non-Objective Dynamically Ordered Tones). With their inaugural release for Leo Records, the artists delve into quite a bit of give-and-take exercises, supplanted by multihued free-form excursions that pack a hearty punch.

At times, Watts surfaces as a whirling-dervish, maintaining a fluid mode of attack. And to complement that notion, Pell helps drive the flow with punishing blows to his modest drum kit. It's partly about polyrhythmic fury that seamlessly morphs into vivid expressionism. Nonetheless, the musicians' breadth and scope of execution is founded upon extended solos and contracting motifs during variable metrics and a forthright game plan.

On "However," they summon real life experiences thru the voices of their instruments by pronouncing asymmetrical sentiments consisting of angst and humor. They even crank out a mock military-progression to further entwine a sense of realism into the grand schema. Pell's prominent drumming more than compensates for the lack of a bassist.

Breathe If You Can is one of the more absorbing free-jazz releases of 2008, especially when considering the non-chordal framework. These situations do not always provide fruitful results, yet these gents perpetuate an underlying sequence of kaleidoscopic designs that spawn gobs of interest.

Track Listing: Letters; Work; 4; People; On and Off; Crutches; However; Love; Rules.

Personnel: Heath Watts: soprano sax; Dan Pell: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "In the Still of the Night" CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "The Way You Look Tonight" CD/LP/Track Review The Way You Look Tonight
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding the Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding the Task
by John Eyles
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review Prague After Dark
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 16, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!