All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

44

Noertker's Moxie: druidh penumbrae

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
With his 9th album for San Francisco Bay Area-based Edgetone Records, bassist, composer Bill Noertker's Moxie ensemble is captured live during performances between 2011-2015. As a composer, he derives influence from famous visual artists, architects, poets and sculptors. Thus, his compositional impetus contains grounded jazz elements, yet his works feature lyrical mosaics of sound amid geometrical unison flows, whimsical overtones and a storytelling approach.

Moxie consists of alternating personnel, spanning the various ensemble configurations of these live performances. However, one of the main staples of this diverse track mix pertains to the leader's compositional savvy, lyrically charged theme-building creations and the inventive exchanges among the soloists. The musicians explore bop, loose groove panoramas, numerous deconstruction efforts and sprightly call/response type sub-plots. And they occasionally aim for the stratosphere with intense, free-form flights of fancy.

"Acrobat's Smile (Subrisio Saltat) commences with a mild-mannered jazz waltz motif, equating to jazz-centric swansong sans vocals, but saxophonists Annelise Zamula, Jim Peterson and John Vaughn whip matters into a popping and winding free jazz opus, tinted by Noertker's sullen arco lines. But "La Chenille," paints a contrasting vista due to a mantra-like vibe led by Zamula's cyclical flute passages and drummer Dax Compise's gently rolling toms passages, executed with mallets.

The variable mix continues with an upbeat chamber jazz tome, framed by oboist Amber Lamprecht's dreamy passages. Whereas "Matilda," is designed with a pulsating cadence and pianist Brett Carson's swarming low register chords, where he slams the pedals to the floor and mimics Zamula's hearty lines atop an entrancing hook. The plot takes another twist on the final track "Song for CH," commencing as a low-key and pensive motif led by the bassist's prominent undercurrent, leading to a slow buildup, but swaying towards the microtonal realm followed by hearty free style sax dialogues.

Noertker is an idea-man who spins a crafty tale or two on a per-track basis. At times gleefully off-centered, the musicians create a comprehensive jazz-framed soundstage, occasionally underscored with theatrical sensibilities. Each piece imparts a distinct message, coinciding with Noertker's multiple sources of inspiration.

Track Listing: Boxcars; Acrobat’s Smile (Subrisio Saltat); Hopscotch 34; La Cheniile; Puppeteer; The Green Metallic Silk, Those Endless Ribbons; Matilda; Blue Moose Over Miami; Before a Single Pain (Has got Within Range of Your Ever-Galloping Heart); dewey Dell; Song for CH.

Personnel: Annelise Zamula: alto saxophone (1. 3, 7, 10, 11), tenor saxophone (2, 6, 8, 9) and flute (4, 5, 9); Bill Noertker: contrabass; Joshua Marshall: tenor saxophone (9, 10, 11); Jim Peterson:- alto saxophone (2) and flute (4); John Vaughn: baritone sax (2, 4); Amber Lamprecht: oboe (6); Theo Padouvas: cornet (3); Eli Wallace: piano (1, 5); Brett Carson: piano (7, 9); Jason Levis (3, 6, 7): drums; Dax Compise: drums (1, 2, 4, 8, 11); Jordan Glenn: drums (5, 9, 10).

Title: druidh penumbrae | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Edgetone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
druidh penumbrae

druidh penumbrae

Edgetone Records
2017

buy
Little Bluedevil (Blue Rider Suite, Vol. 2)

Little Bluedevil...

Edgetone Records
2012

buy
Some Circles (Blue Rider Suite, vol. 1)

Some Circles (Blue...

Edgetone Records
2010

buy
Druidh Lacunae

Druidh Lacunae

Edgetone Records
2009

buy
Sketches of Catalonia, vol. 3: Suite for Gaudí

Sketches of...

Edgetone Records
2009

buy
Sketches of Catalonia, vol. 2: Suite for Miró

Sketches of...

Edgetone Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Monochrome CD/LP/Track Review
Monochrome
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Attitude Manouche CD/LP/Track Review
Attitude Manouche
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Geometry of Caves CD/LP/Track Review
Geometry of Caves
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 16, 2018
Read This World of Dew CD/LP/Track Review
This World of Dew
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Gegenschein CD/LP/Track Review
Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Live In Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Europe
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: May 16, 2018
Read "Walk The Walk" CD/LP/Track Review Walk The Walk
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 4, 2018
Read "The Subject Tonight Is Love" CD/LP/Track Review The Subject Tonight Is Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "Nellie Bly Project" CD/LP/Track Review Nellie Bly Project
by Paul Rauch
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "25th Anniversary Project" CD/LP/Track Review 25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018