321

Alex Kontorovich: Deep Minor

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Alex Kontorovich: Deep Minor The Radical Jewish Cultural movement, spurred into existence by avant-garde composer John Zorn, is already in its second decade and steadily progressing into the future. Russian-born saxophonist/clarinetist Alex Kontorovich is part of a new generation embracing the wild and wooly rhythms and primal harmonic inflections of an ancient ethnic subculture.

Co-founder of the Klez Dispensers, Kontorovich is a well-regarded member of the Klezmatics and Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars. This solo outing features a slightly different side of the in-demand multi-instrumentalist, drawing equally from classic jazz traditions and Yiddish folk conventions.

Assembling an all-star Downtown unit, Kontorovich is joined by drummer Aaron Alexander (Hasidic New Wave, Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars) and versatile Downtown luminary, bassist Reuben Radding. A tireless and versatile rhythm section, Alexander and Radding navigate ebullient bop patterns, shifting meters and pneumatic dance rhythms with an elastic sense of swing.

Guitarist Brandon Seabrook serves as Kontorovich's front-line foil. Long-time member of experimental Klezmer pioneers Naftule's Dream (and their traditional alter-ego, Shirim) Seabrook is one of the most influential guitarists in the genre, rivaled only by John Madof (Rashanim) and Marc Ribot (Masada). From percolating junk-yard banjo plucking to searing peals of distorted electric guitar feedback, he covers every texture and tone in-between, almost stealing the show from the leader with his innovative approach.

Kontorovich's hybrid of Yiddish themes and jazz improvisation relies as much on advanced harmony as it does intricate rhythms and attentive group dynamics. Avoiding rote klezmer clichés, Kontorovich integrates the two worlds seamlessly, creating a unique hybrid of buoyant Hassidic melodies, modern jazz harmonies and experimental structural dynamics punctuated by dramatic interjections of free jazz dissonance and throttling metal-tinged outbursts.

Miles removed from such early efforts as vibraphonist Terry Gibbs well-intentioned pastiche of West-Coast jazz and Hassidic themes, Plays Jewish Melodies In Jazztime (Verve, 1963), Deep Minor expands the concept of Radical Jewish Culture into the 21st Century.


Track Listing: Transit Strike Blues; Kandels Burning; New Orleans Funeral March; Waltz for Piazzolla; Sirba; Nossim Hora; AfroJewban Suite; Tzitzit.

Personnel: Alex Kontorovich: clarinet, alto saxophone; Brandon Seabrook: guitar, banjo, tapes; Reuben Radding: bass; Aaron Alexander: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Chamsa Records | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Expansions  Live" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions Live
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "Back Home" CD/LP/Track Review Back Home
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Strong Tea" CD/LP/Track Review Strong Tea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!