224

David Schnitter at The Turning Point Cafe

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count
David Schnitter
The Turning Point Cafe
Piermont, New York
June 2, 2008


David Schnitter ended a bracing, sixty-minute set at The Turning Point Cafe with a quote from "Auld Lang Syne." This brief digression was a jocular reminder that, for a jazz musician, "times gone by" aren't as important as the present. Though the tenor saxophonist has recently played with distinction in an Art Blakey tribute band led by fellow Blakey alumnus Valery Ponomarev, these days he thrives in less structured settings, like the busy, open-ended tenor, bass and drums trio on a recent CIMP release, The Spirit of Things.

Not unlike the record, the set's distance from hard bop orthodoxy was evident in the rhythm section. The support of guitarist John Hart, bassist Bill Moring, and drummer Anthony Pinciotti came in many guises. In the early stages of Sonny Rollins's "Tenor Madness," the set's opener, Moring's decisive walking was the focal point of a steady concentrated momentum. Schnitter began with a simple declaration, built a narrative in small increments and, aside from a couple of long pointed tones, sounded cool and somewhat detached. During an unnamed Schnitter composition loosely based on Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-a-ning," constant change was the norm as Hart, Moring, and Pinciotti dropped out at different times in no particular design, and the tempo fluctuated. Throughout all this activity the tenor saxophonist stayed in his own zone, sketched dry lines, and offered signs of genuine emotion—a long burr note, a passionate honk—in measured amounts.

Hart's solos evinced disparate strains. During the course of Horace Silver's "Barbara," the guitarist fashioned barbed lines followed by brief muted asides. Chords leapt from the instrument, and he abruptly truncated a winding, obsessive run. Hart briefly transformed Benny Golson's warhorse "Along Came Betty" into something strange and indefinite. Thoughtful single-note lines eventually became nasty and claustrophobic. After some deliberation he dashed ahead of Moring and Pinciotti. A four-note phrase led to a blooming chord. Then he subtly evoked the blues and hit on a portion of Golson's melody.


Tenor and soprano saxophonist John Richmond had no difficulty distinguishing himself in such fast company. Employing a full yet supple tone which made the horn speak, he was the band's most emotionally direct soloist. Even when notes started to spill from the horn during "Tenor Madness," Richmond communicated with the audience and kept in touch with the rhythm section's every change in direction. He started off "Along Came Betty" by echoing the last four notes of Hart's solo. Bright singing melodies yielded to low earthy tones, and he resolved extended lines with ease.


Shop

More Articles

Read Panama Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Panama Jazz Festival 2017
by Mark Holston
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy Concert 2016" Live Reviews Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy Concert 2016
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Buenos Aires Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Buenos Aires Jazz Festival 2016
by Mark Holston
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "2016 Lakeland Jazz Festival" Live Reviews 2016 Lakeland Jazz Festival
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "2016 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit" Live Reviews 2016 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "The Wood Brothers at Higher Ground" Live Reviews The Wood Brothers at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!