Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Clark Sommers Lens: By A Thread

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist Clark Sommers served up a terrific trio outing in 2013 with Ba(sh) (Origin Record), a teaming with his fellow Chicagoans, reedman Geof Bradfield and drummer Dana Hall. He expands the ensemble to a quintet for By A Thread. Tenorist (mostly, he also adds his bass clarinet to the sound) Geof Bradfield is back, in what amounts to, in part, a reimagination of the organ jazz genre.

The By A Thread band is headed up by a bassist; the tunes were all written by a bassist, but listening to the disc blind, it would be hard to identify the leader. Sax man Bradfield or keyboardist (mostly organist here) Gary Versace would be reasonable guesses. Sommers is not one to step out front and strut his stuff. This is about the ensemble interplay and the tunes. With guitarist Jeff Parker in the rhythm section with Versace, the harmonies have a more intricate weave. Trombonist Joel Adams teams with Bradfield in the front line (with really doesn't often sound like a traditional front like; it's more a cohesive ensemble approach here) and meld their sounds with Versace and Parker. Harmony takes a front stage much of the time, punctuated by surprising and succinct-but-eloquent turns in the spotlight by Bradford and guitarist Parker, and the modernistic soulfulness of Versace's organ work.

The title tune/opener is a world unto itself, brimming with a collective inspirations, going from grooves to amorphous atmospherics and back to grooves again.The tunes throughout have an idiosyncratic, futuristic appeal. Sommers has quite his own thing going, compositionally. Drummer Kendrick Scott is top-notch as a texturalist and timekeeper/provocateur.  

Sommers has shaped a first rate set with By A Thread, wrapping things up with the highlight, "Pillage," with Vijay Tellis-Naayak sitting in on Moog, and Jeff Parker's guitar soaring into a stratospheric surf music territory, giving way to a smoldering tenor sax solo from Geof Bradfield.

Track Listing: By A Thread; Meet Me Halfway; Stoic Sun; Points Of Reduction; Simple Act; You've Said; Chasm; Pillage.

Personnel: Clark Sommers: bass; Jeff Parker: guitar; Kendrick Scott: drum; Gary Versace: organ/Rhodes; Geof Bradfield: saxes, bass clarinet; Joel Adams: trombone, megabone (9); Vijay Tellis-Nayak: Moog (9).

Title: By A Thread | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ears&eyes Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren" CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Change Of Address" CD/LP/Track Review Change Of Address
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Bricks" CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017