279

Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra: Dream Wheel: Live at the Sound Lounge 2006 with Florian Ross

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra: Dream Wheel: Live at the Sound Lounge 2006 with Florian Ross In jazz, there's rarely pressure to make the next album bigger than the last. There can often, however, be a self-imposed drive to make it different. Sydney, Australia's Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra—the flagship of its Jazzgroove Association, a musicians' collective that's been cultivating a strong jazz scene there for a decade—released one of 2006's best big band records, The Mothership Plays the Music of Mike Nock (Jazzgroove Records). On Dream Wheel, the Mothership collaborates with a younger and, consequently, less-proven but still impressive pianist/composer, Germany-based Florian Ross. While Plays the Music of Mike Nock had its own energy, the live recording of Dream Wheel represents the kind of muscle that can only be found on the club or concert stage

Happily, many of the players that made Plays the Music of Mike Nock such a success are back—notably altoist/co-producer David Theak, whose own Theak-Tet released the engaging Old School (Birdland, 2005). That album also featured another Mothership mainstay, guitarist James Muller, whose Kaboom (Birdland, 2006) would have garnered considerably more attention, had it been released Stateside.

Ross' growing discography has already positioned him as a pianist/composer/arranger of no insignificant talent, and the seven charts on Dream Wheel bristle with a vitality that's as much about the modern mainstream arrangements as they are this seventeen-piece band's consistently fine playing. Ross knows his tradition, referencing standard staples on the episodic "Autumn Things (but taking it to places of power that Joseph Kosma could never have envisaged for "Autumn Leaves ) and the more definitively swinging "Campaign or Come Swine, which takes equal liberties with Harold Arlen's "Come Rain or Come Shine.

Ross also mines the more contemporary music of Kenny Wheeler's waltzing "Heyoke for the title track, but turns it into a large ensemble piece, rich in texture and filled with improvisational opportunities for Theak, Muller and trumpeter Matt Jodrel. Ross gets his own solo opportunities on "Autumn Things and the twisting and turning "Mean MF, with bassist Brendan Clarke and drummer Evan Mannell providing the same unshakable support they do throughout.

The closing "Bista is the best blend of Ross' compelling writing and visceral arranging with the strength of this orchestra. The opening simmers, turning to a boil with tenor saxophonist Roger Mannis, whose solo builds the tension to near fever-pitch, only to be matched and raised by Muller, who delivers one of his best solos on record. Lithe, effortlessly leaping across huge intervals, and demonstrating a focused sense of construction, Muller's ante is raised, yet again, by Mannell's groove-heavy solo.

It's the kind of closer that, no doubt, would have demanded an encore from the enthusiastic crowd. For those who have to experience the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra from a distance, the only consolation is that there's sure to be more to come from this outstanding ensemble.


Track Listing: Teen Adventure; Mean MF; Dream Wheel; Autumn Things; Constances Structure; Campaign or Come Swine; Bista.

Personnel: Florian Ross: piano, electric piano, solos (2, 4); David Theak: alto saxophone lead, solos (1, 3); Murray Jackson: alto saxophone; James Muller: guitar, solos (3, 7); Roger Manins: tenor saxophone, solos (6, 7); Brendan Clarke: contrabass; Scott Langley: tenor saxophone; Evan Mannell: drums, solo (7); Nick Bowd: baritone saxophone, solo (1); Darryl Carthew: trumpet lead; Jeremy Barthwick: trombone lead, solo (2); Simon Ferenci: trumpet, solo (1); Lucian McGuiness: trombone, solo (6); Matt Jodrell: trumpet, solo (5); Danny Charmichael: trombone, solo (5); Tim Crow: trumpet; Colin Burrows: bass trombone.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Birdland Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Live in New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live in New York
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "True Love Collection" CD/LP/Track Review True Love Collection
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Do Right" CD/LP/Track Review Do Right
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Avenida Graham" CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 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!