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...

9

Shawn Lovato: Cycles of Animation

Friedrich Kunzmann By

Sign in to view read count
For his debut album, Cycles of Animation, New York bassist Shawn Lovato has gathered an impressive, equally forward-thinking cast of musicians, comprised of guitarist Brad Shepik, saxophone virtuoso Loren Stillman, Argentinian pianist Santiago Leibson and drum stick juggler Chris Carroll. The innovative guitarist Shepik has been going at it in various formations, experimenting with a vast array of different music for a couple of decades now, most recently performing and recording with the humble Rumbler Quartet, featuring Ben Monder on Bass. The wide-spread and strongly diverse activity of all collaborators here makes for the ideal atmosphere to adequately accompany Shawn Lovato in his compositional ventures, that alternate between improvisation and strict architectural structures.

The opener "Loose Noodle" functions as a sort of overture to this oeuvre, compactly presenting the colors and shapes that ultimately unfold and experience further development during the course of the album. The compositional aspect is reflected only in the fixed meter and pulsating stabs by saxophone and guitar in the interval of a major second, forming the main and constant motif of the piece. Framed by punchy basslines and sparsely placed syncopating chords on piano, the guitar and drums intensify the pace with various melodic and rhythmic approaches.

In this manner the set continues, alternating between quieter passages—where one can hear and feel the musicians searching for one another, implicitly creating intense dialogues—and more furious displays of contradicting scales in all voices, with tonal centers seemingly dissolving. An example of the latter is "7th Street Jig," which is barely a composition at all, but a layer cake made up of frantic ensemble jamming. The musicians, who on first consideration seem to be playing independently from one another, eventually come together to shape a harmonically climaxing sound carpet.

The title lending its name to the album Cycles of Animation is divided into three parts, each constructed around a base made up of calm conversations between piano, drums and bass. As the subheadings of the parts suggest ("Slow, Harvest," "Inhale, Exhale," "Labor, Rest"), this piece functions as the contrastingly calmer counterpoint to the otherwise jumpy exhibition pieces that make up the rest of the record and therefore finds itself evenly distributed across the album.

The highlights that make these sounds a truly special offering lie within the fusion of the unique characters evoked by each instrument, ultimately leading to a singular timbre, that evolves and grows within the course of the album, quite justifiedly entitled Cycles of Animation.

Track Listing: Loose Noodle; Static Phases Illuminated; Animated Cycle I: Sow, Harvest; Brain Drain; Animated Cycle II: Inhale, Exhale; 7th Street Jig; Animated Cycle III: Labor, Rest; Unplugged Slug.

Personnel: Loren Stillman: alto saxophone; Brad Shepik: guitar; Santiago Leibson: piano; Shawn Lovato: bass; Chris Carroll: drums.

Title: Cycles of Animation | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Skirl Records

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.

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Tramontana" CD/LP/Track Review Tramontana
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Perfectly Unhappy" CD/LP/Track Review Perfectly Unhappy
by John Eyles
Published: June 4, 2018
Read "After the Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After the Fall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Wild Red Yellow" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Red Yellow
by John Sharpe
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Seldom In The Wells" CD/LP/Track Review Seldom In The Wells
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 10, 2018
Read "Under Paris Skies" CD/LP/Track Review Under Paris Skies
by Edward Blanco
Published: October 7, 2018