234

The MacroQuarktet: Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The MacroQuarktet features a crème de la crème of New York's progressive jazz and improvisational contingent, although the respective instrumentalists know no bounds due to variable stints with like-minded artists across the globe. Recorded live at the Manhattan venue The Stone, the quartet—or, wittily cited as the Quarktet—casts an impressionistic aura into the rather expansive connotations of jazz-centric improvisation on Each Part a Whole. The musicians subdivide the performance into three extended works, teeming with polytonal resonance amid a surprising degree of contrasts, sans any keys or woodwinds. Simply stated, the band maintains a lean and mean style of attack.

Trumpeter Herb Robertson's patented employment of multiphonics, gravelly phrasings and rocketing lines complement fellow trumpeter Dave Ballou's robust implementations, as they link with the rhythm section's rolling flows and asymmetrical pulses. Bold, brassy and irrefutably dense and layered, the program instills an abundance of emotive attributes via the artists' dark shadings and bustling maneuvers. The musicians seem to query one another for on-the-fly shifts in momentum, with bassist Drew Gress' arco driven background treatments or drummer Tom Rainey's accelerating beats.

The soloists engage in nip-and-tuck-type dialogues to complement several movements that are designed with chatty discourses. Yet they occasionally walk on water, when tempering a given theme. And the quartet ups the ante, where lyrically-charged motifs segue into extended, microtonal note discourses and scrappy off-kilter bursts of energy. No two pieces are distinctly alike throughout this oscillating musical trek.

On "Part 5" of "Ducks and Geese Or Rabbits?," the horn players execute gruff, low-key notes, where notions of creaky chambers come to mind; however, they see light at the end of the tunnel, while segueing into a peppery improv jaunt. Here, and elsewhere, the quartet spawns a budding set of undercurrents, founded on divergent velocities and angular rhythmic maneuvers. It's a mind-bending yet irrefutably entertaining sojourn into existentially coated musical directions.

The MacroQuarktet offers clues and intimations for the neural network and psyche, conjuring up lucid imagery that yields the plentiful fruit of Each Part a Whole.


Track Listing: Neuroplasticity (Parts 1-2-3); Ducks and Geese Or Rabbits (Parts 4-5-6-7); Basal D. Ganglia (Parts 8-9-10).

Personnel: Herb Robertson: trumpet, cornet, electric megaphone, mutes & attachments; Dave Ballou: trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn, plastic hose, mutes; Drew Gress: acoustic bass, fan; Tom Rainey: drums and cymbals.

Title: Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Ruby Flower Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Stratus" CD/LP/Track Review Stratus
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "The Catfish" CD/LP/Track Review The Catfish
by Chris Mosey
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Inspired by Nature" CD/LP/Track Review Inspired by Nature
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 14, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.