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...

385

Gerry Hemingway Quintet: Demon Chaser

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Demon Chaser, which documents a live concert recorded at Ottenbrucher Bahnhof in Wuppertal-Elberfeld, Germany on March 2nd, 1993, stands tall in drummer Gerry Hemingway's discography as one of the finest achievements of his celebrated transatlantic quintet. This is its second printing.

Synchronous with the dissolution of the classic Anthony Braxton quartet of the late eighties/early nineties, Hemingway embarked on a different path, eschewing Braxton's oblique methodology in favor of an open-minded neo-traditional approach. Comprised of artists from America and the Netherlands, Hemingway's "transatlantic quintet" as it became known, lasted eight years before he finally disbanded the group due to travel costs.

The quintet's American lineage featured fellow Braxton alumni Mark Dresser on contrabass and Amsterdam resident/American expatriate Michael Moore on an assortment of reeds. Rounding out the group were fellow Amsterdam residents trombonist Wolter Wierbos and cellist Ernst Reijseger, high-profile members of the mercurial Dutch jazz scene. By the time of this recording, the quintet was a regular touring ensemble. Its empathy and accord was readily apparent, no matter how far out the music went.

Opening the date is the appropriately titled "Slamadam," a rousing, angular number spotlighting Hemingway's frenetic percussive capabilities and the quintet's raw, expressive potential. A multi-faceted percussionist with a wide dynamic range, Hemingway varies his approach according to the mood of each piece. As effusive and visceral as his salvos on "Slamadam" are, his delicate accents on the spectral tone poem "Buoys" are the inverse—spacious and introspective. His ability to convincingly execute a variety of styles, altering his touch and phrasing from one piece to another, is an example of his dynamic versatility. Rather than falling victim to dilettantish excess, his encyclopedic knowledge of international drumming traditions informs every downbeat, lending his performances an air of cross-cultural unity.

The quintet embarks on an extended, swirling deconstruction of "A Night In Tunisia," taking great liberties with the tune's basic form, abstracting it almost beyond recognition while maintaining the core elements of melody, harmony and rhythm. The brooding title track is fraught with cinematic tension, a dramatically ascending set-piece that climaxes with Moore's vocalized alto cadenza sputtering aloft a scintillating mosaic of sinewy harmonics. Highlighting the quintet's swinging lyricism, "Holler Up" and "More Struttin' With Mutton" feature a pair of lilting melodies bolstered by euphonious improvisations, with special attention paid to Wierbos' garrulous slide work, Moore's plangent cadences and Reijseger's sonorous arco.

This was the quintet's second to last album for Hatology before recording its swan song (and masterpiece) for the label the following year, the album-length suite The Marmalade King. Featuring a prototypical set-list, Demon Chaser is a stellar snapshot of one of the best working bands of the mid-nineties.


Track Listing: Slamadam; A Night In Tunisia; Buoys; Holler Up; Demon Chaser; More Struttin' With Mutton.

Personnel: Gerry Hemingway: drums and steel drums; Michael Moore: alto saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet; Wolter Wierbos: trombone; Ernst Reijseger: cello; Mark Dresser: bass.

Title: Demon Chaser | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Grey Matter

Grey Matter

NoBusiness Records
2014

buy
Kernelings

Kernelings

Auricle Records
2014

buy
Riptide

Riptide

Clean Feed Records
2011

buy
 

Inbetween Spaces

Auricle Music
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "The Subject Tonight Is Love" CD/LP/Track Review The Subject Tonight Is Love
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 26, 2018
Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" CD/LP/Track Review I Try To Remember Where I Come From
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Nahnou Houm" CD/LP/Track Review Nahnou Houm
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Carpe Diem" CD/LP/Track Review Carpe Diem
by Don Phipps
Published: March 19, 2018