163

The Antfarm Quartet: Dialgoues, pt. 2

Victor L. Schermer By

Sign in to view read count
The Antfarm Quartet: Dialgoues, pt. 2 While this CD contains some fine straight-ahead jazz by a group of excellent musicians, the name of the group, The Antfarm Quartet, combined with cover photos of the group hanging out on a cloudy day at the beach and seen through the window of a diner, evokes a connotation of funk and grunge. Just as ants do their work tirelessly without a leader, this dedicated group has no designated leader. However, more like a bee hive than an ant farm, the entire album is dominated by the singing of the multi-talented Paul Jost.

The only "grungy thing about this otherwise mainstream recording is Jost's voice. This is not a criticism; it is a categorization. Jost belongs to two classes of jazz vocalists: those like Chet Baker, Jon Hendricks, Kurt Elling, and J.D. Walter, who utilize scat and vocalise(Baker was an exception), rhythm, and inflections to convey a sharp "instrumental and "existential feel; and those like Satchmo (Louis Armstrong), Louis Prima, and Jimmy Durante, whose gravelly voices we constantly forgive because they communicate something important musically—a grunt by Armstrong was worth a thousand notes; Prima caught something of the Italo-American soul; and Durante's version of "I'll Be Seeing You (In All the Old Familiar Places) and other songs conveyed a deep pathos.

At first, Jost's slightly disturbing vocal persona of a pleading loser is off-putting. But within a short time, the listener becomes absorbed in his highly intelligent, richly emotive, and musically sophisticated renditions of several standards and two originals—"Sun on My Hands and "Dialogues, Pt. 2, by band-members Jim Ridl and Tim Lekan respectively. Jost uses rhythm and dynamics to great effect to evoke the variety of moods suggested by the tunes, and the degree of swinging force that such a human "failure can bring to the music is surprising.

As always, Ridl's piano playing is superb throughout. "Sun on My Hands, from his CD Door in a Field (Dreambox Media, 2003) is lyrical and sensitive. Throughout Dialgoues Pt. 2, he livens things up with assertive comping and brilliant solos. Ridl is one of the most remarkable and creative jazz pianists on the scene. Bassist Tim Lekan and drummer Bob Shlomo stay mostly in the background, but they provide both interesting ideas and outstanding rhythmic support. The entire group shines on Joe Henderson's bebop tune "Tetragon, a stimulating composition that deserves to be performed much more often.

This album is going appeal both to seasoned lovers of mainstream jazz and younger audiences who like their music with a touch of twisted-ness. Its singular virtue is the way it synthesizes these two idioms and makes something interesting out of the mix.


Track Listing: The Days of Wine and Roses; Centerpiece; Sun on My Hands; Let Me Call You Sweetheart; Dialogues, Pt. 2; And I Love Her; Put on a Happy Face; I Didnt Know What Time It Was; Tetragon; Gentle Rain; Girl from Ipanema; How Insensitive.

Personnel: Tim Lekan: bass; Paul Jost: vocals, harmonica, guitar; Bob Shomo: drums; Jim Ridl: piano, keyboard.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Dreambox Media | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Intuit" CD/LP/Track Review Intuit
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Brel" CD/LP/Track Review Brel
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by James Nadal
Published: July 10, 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!