Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

11

Marius Neset: Circle of Chimes

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
It's not just the breath-taking scope and depth of saxophonist/composer Marius Neset's ACT Music releases, Lion (2014), Snowmelt (2016) and now Circle of Chimes (2017) that's remarkable, but the fact that such powerful waves of music have come from the thirty-two-year old Norwegian in the span of just three years.

Stylistically diverse as they are, these recordings can be seen together as signposts along the way of Neset's probing journey into terrain where labels seem increasingly inadequate. So too, it must be said, the critical framework within which Neset has mostly been appraised for the past decade—that's to say, chief heir to the tenor tradition of Jan Garbarek and Michael Brecker—for Circle of Chimes adds substantial weight to the argument that the Norwegian should perhaps also be recognised as one of the most exciting of modern composers.

Once more, Neset surrounds himself with his Pinball (ACT Music, 2015) quintet partners of Ivo Neame, Anton Eger, Petter Eldh and Jim Hart. Their intuitive understanding of Neset's frequently complex rhythms is an essential component of music that whilst artfully through-composed, still burns with a raging intensity, notably so on "A New Resolution," where bluesy romanticism gradually gives way to some fiendish ensemble interplay, with Lionel Loueke prominent in the mix.

The Benin-born musician's pedal-fed guitar and vocals color the music throughout in subtle but tangible ways, not least as an additional thread in the knotty, yet flowing unison lines that are Neset's stock-in-trade. Also part of the rainbow weave is sibling Ingrid Neset's sparkling flute work and Andreas Brantelid's wonderfully dextrous cello. When Neset harnesses the full force of the octet the music roars with orchestral might.

Chiming bells announce the episodic opener "Satellite," and close the circle over an hour later on "Eclipse," with repeating chime-like themes passed around the ensemble baton-style in between. Circle of Chimes undoubtedly has suite-like properties, though all ten pieces have stand-alone strength. Even the piano-cum-cello vignette "Introduction to Prague's Ballet" is more precious stone than mere stepping stone to the baroque charms of "Prague's Ballet," a sublime exercise in harmonic flight and rhythmic counterpoint that evokes the folk-tinged classical work of Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Neset's compositional sophistication is measured, however, not so much in the dazzlingly intricate, rhythmically vibrant ensemble passages of a tune like "Star," as in the sweeping emotional arc of the hour-plus rollercoaster as a whole; intimate lyricism, ecstatic celebration, unabashed melodicism a la Pat Metheny ("Life Goes On"), hypnotic minimalism ("1994") and bursts of gnarly, hard-swinging post-bop are all part of the fabric. There's also plenty of Neset the tenor/soprano magician to enjoy, shaking and gnawing the musical bone for all he's worth.

At root, however, it's Neset's canny orchestration of tension and release that makes Circle of Chimes, arguably his most personal and complete recording to date, so compelling from first chime to last.

Track Listing: Satellite; Star; A New Resolution; Introduction to Prague's Ballet: Prague's Ballet; Life Goes On; Sirens of Cologne; The Silent Room; 1994; Eclipse.

Personnel: Marius Neset: tenor and soprano saxophones; Ivo Neame: piano; Anton Eger: drums, percussion; Petter Eldh: bass; Lionel Loueke: guitar, vocals; Andreas Brantelid: cello; Ingrid Neset: flute, piccolo, alto flute; Jim Hart: vibraphone, marimba, percussion.

Title: Circle of Chimes | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ACT Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Best of / Year End
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
  • Birds by AAJ Italy Staff
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Circle of Chimes

Circle of Chimes

ACT Music
2017

buy
Snowmelt

Snowmelt

ACT Music
2017

buy
Pinball

Pinball

ACT Music
2015

buy
Lion

Lion

ACT Music
2014

buy
Birds

Birds

Edition Records
2013

buy
Golden Xplosion

Golden Xplosion

Edition Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Meander
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 6, 2018
Read "Moving Day" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 27, 2018
Read "Sonic Paragon" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Paragon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 4, 2018
Read "Vagabond Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Vagabond Soul
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 23, 2018
Read "Love Letters" CD/LP/Track Review Love Letters
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Day by Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day by Day
by Jim Olin
Published: September 4, 2018