49

Scott Tixier: Brooklyn Bazaar

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Tixier: Brooklyn Bazaar Violinist Scott Tixier is like a young fledgling poised to take off. This is a wondrous sight: arms (the wings) painfully outstretched, neck and, indeed, the whole body arched and on tip-toes, his bow swinging wildly as he flies off into the azure unknown. He is awkward at first; then sure that he will soar and swoop and soar again, he is off on a spectacular and fanciful flight, following in the updraft of those who flew before him: Don "Sugar Cane" Harris, Jean-Luc Ponty, Didier Lockwood; even Mark Feldman... and soon the mighty eagle himself, Billy Bang. The coordination of bow in its up and down strokesand the arched fingers that creep and fly on the neck of his beautiful instrument carve out one spectacular melody after another, and the one where he and vocalist Emilie Weibel trade fabulous vocal gymnastics and melodic flights is so ingenious that it sears the ear.

Another surprising aspect of Tixier's playing is that he is unafraid to play in the lower register. Here, his playing is dark sometimes even menacing—he might just as well be a maestro of the viola—and this is especially noteworthy on "Elephant Rose." The melody, as a whole, has an air of mystery to it, delivered largely in legato mode, with Tixier and pianist Jesse Elder playing in two-way counterpoint, exchanging broad glissandos as they whip up a storm—the greased lightning that creates the electrical charge that sustains the piece. This shows a young energetic side to a violinist (and pianist) unafraid to taunt his musical colleagues by leading them on a path to magic and mystery.

Speaking of the enigmatic, "String Theory" also includes the bass violin—the acoustic bass—and as Tixier delves deeper into the lower register entwined with guitarist douglas bradford, he entices bassist Massimo Biolcati to join in the noir festivities. Then, as all follow the violinist—beguiled it seems, into a bottomless vortex—Tixier, deceiving everyone, escapes by soaring higher and higher and right out of the harmonic vortex, finally drawing everyone else out with him with stupendous beauty.

By now, the fledgling is flying on sure wings, soaring on thermals—hot melodies that swirl on diaphanous sheets of air—swooping downwards, sliding on death-defying missions to recover harmonically suicidal events like dramatic rescues ("Miss Katsu" being a case in point), the young violinist showing old masters his version of their masterly touch.

Tixier is on the verge of discovering his own voice. The magic is already there and he has exceeded most expectations. By the time he reaches the end of this program he has landed on the edge of a higher outcrop, all set to take off again. This time he will, for sure, far exceed what is expected of him because Tixier is a musician of unbridled talent.


Track Listing: Keep in Touch; Bushwick Party; Arawaks; Elephant Rose; String Theory; Miss Katsu; Facing Windows; Shopping with Mark F; Roach Dance.

Personnel: Scott Tixier: violin; Douglas Bradford: guitar; Jesse Elder: piano; Massimo Biolcati: bass; Arthur Vint: drums; Emilie Weibel: vocals (3).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Seeing Is Believing" CD/LP/Track Review Seeing Is Believing
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Accortet" CD/LP/Track Review Accortet
by John Sharpe
Published: May 25, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 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!