All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Scott Tixier: Brooklyn Bazaar

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
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).

Title: Brooklyn Bazaar | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Cosmic Adventure

Cosmic Adventure

Sunnyside Records

Cosmic Adventure

Cosmic Adventure

Sunnyside Records

Brooklyn Bazaar

Brooklyn Bazaar

Sunnyside Records


Related Articles

Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Denmark I Was Born CD/LP/Track Review
In Denmark I Was Born
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983 CD/LP/Track Review
In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read A Year Ago Today CD/LP/Track Review
A Year Ago Today
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Dreams of Belonging CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams of Belonging
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Notes Over Poetry" CD/LP/Track Review Notes Over Poetry
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Your Queen Is A Reptile" CD/LP/Track Review Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets" CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "You Already Know" CD/LP/Track Review You Already Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Murphy" CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Bitter Almonds" CD/LP/Track Review Bitter Almonds
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 25, 2017