All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

373

Mark Lockheart & the NDR Big Band: Days Like These

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Considering the instrumental forces that the big band offers, it's surprising how conservative a lot of large ensemble writing is. Days Like These isn't iconoclastically innovative, but there's enough on offer to satisfy those who find such conservatism tiresome.

Saxophonist Mark Lockheart clearly appreciates what he has at his disposal for all of the relatively conventional section scoring. NDR is a band that embraces rhythmic precision, even as it remains loose enough to avoid sounding drilled. Despite the cyclical, quasi-minimalist figure that comprises the heart of the opening "Rag," the music is marked by an urgency which prevails—even in moments of near-comedy, where the spirits of silent movie comedians come to the fore.

"Busby Berkeley Parts 1 & 2" is appropriately replete with a twirling motif which, given the tempo, is as rife with unease as it is with anything brighter. It's down to the scoring to alter that impression, and the subtle use of voicings brings this about, along with the work of an unaccredited trumpet soloist and the deft touch of pianist Nils Gessinger.

"In Two Parts" turns out to be anything but; still, the use of irregular intervals sets up a nice contrast between rhythmic momentum and a sense of reflection generated by the sensitive use of flutes. Trombonist Dan Gottshall is one of the band's most distinctive soloists, however, and he makes the most of his opportunity.

"End Of A Chapter" is, perhaps, unsurprisingly reflective. Flautist Fiete Felsch fills out the opening passage in an unexpected manner, given that instrument's sometimes wistful nature, but it's the work of tenor saxophonist Christoph Lauer that pitches both with and against the composition's essentially languid nature. For his part, Gessinger spins lines out in a manner both reflective and sensitive.

All of these pieces are marked by a singular but shared musical sensibility, but the same can't be said for "Strange Remark," which possesses so many surface discontinuities that it's remarkable how well it hangs together. The saxophone writing could almost stand as a work in itself, and Lockheart turns in his most telling solo of the program.


Track Listing: Rag; Busby Berkeley Parts 1 & 2; Days Like These; Strange Remark; In Two Parts; Man With A Yellow Case; End Of A Chapter.

Personnel: Ingolf Burkhardt: trumpet; Thomas Vogel: trumpet; Claus Stotter: trumpet; Reiner Winterschladen: trumpet; Joe Gallardo: trombone; Dan Gottshall: trombone; Stefan Lottermann: trombone; Ingo Lahme: bass trombone; Mark Lockheart: soprano sax; Fiete Felsch: alto sax, flute; Peter Bolte: alto sax; Christof Lauer: tenor sax; Gabriel Coburger: tenor sax; Lutz Bucnher: tenor sax; Frank Delle: baritone sax; Nils Gessinger: piano; Stephan Diez: guitar; Ed Harris: guitar; Lucas Lindholm: bass; Nic France: drums; Marcio Doctor: drums.

Title: Days Like These | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Fuzzy Moon Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ellington  in Anticipation

Ellington in...

Subtone Records (uk)
2013

buy
Days Like These

Days Like These

Fuzzy Moon Records
2010

buy
In Deep

In Deep

Edition Records
2009

buy
Moving Air

Moving Air

Basho Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "Train Of Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Train Of Thought
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Sonic Fiction" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Fiction
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Live In Belgium" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Belgium
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 4, 2018