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Jazz's modern mainstream combines intricately composed works of art with free-flowing improvisation. The music must swing, and yet it must remain free from cliches. Tradition should remain a part of every project, but it must show evidence of growth. The title object for this album, the hard-shelled cocoon of a moth or butterfly, represents fully the kind of growth that we expect.
The all-star nonet led by double bassist Bruno Raberg on Chrysalis interprets his compositions with authority. They end the program with two collective free improvisations. Innovation and invention take over, with the resulting session not only turning out as a highly recommended program, but also sitting atop this year's top ten list. Jazz is an art that has to be nurtured. It must grow naturally.
As an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Rïberg has enlisted the support of other faculty members for his latest project. Mick Goodrick, Jeff Galindo and Marcello Pellitteri also teach at Berklee. Donny McCaslin and Anders Bostrïm are alumni. The connection between them runs deeper than that. Their session shows much evidence of cohesive interplay and intuitive partnership. Each improvised solo section is rewarded with full and free-flowing accompaniment.
Raberg's compositions run suite-like with appropriate changes in mood. His arco bass passages prove quite expressive. Alternatively, while walking the bass rhythmically, with bass trombone doubling, he provides a heart-pounding foundation for the band. The result is a poignant album that can be fully appreciated by all lovers of the art of jazz.
Track Listing: Snowaltz; Nightfall; Cool but Confusing; Chrysalis; Silhouettes; Le Luxe V; Yellow Bus; Sculpture IV; Sculpture V.
Personnel: Bruno R?berg- acoustic bass; Mick Goodrick- guitar; Marcello Pellitteri- drums, percussion; Anders Bostr?m- flute, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute; Allan Chase- soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Donny McCaslin- soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet; Phil Grenadier- trumpet; Jeff Galindo- trombone; Tim Kelly- bass trombone.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.