All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

173

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

By

Sign in to view read count
Pushing the boundaries of spontaneous expression, one of trumpeter Herb Robertson's latest projects is the MacroQuarktet with fellow trumpeter Dave Ballou and the formidable rhythm tandem of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey. Eschewing a blitzkrieg approach, the three improvisations on Each Part a Whole exude deliberative patience with ideas tested and developed into longer narrative arcs.

Both trumpeters make imaginative use of mutes, other valve instruments (flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, cornet) and found objects (electric megaphones, plastic hoses) to extend their timbral options. While Ballou favors longer, cleanly-articulated phrases, Robertson often erupts with quick note clusters and/or slurred sounds, his patented vocalizing through the horn adding another dimension; the contrast creates natural tension that drives the music. On "Neuroplasticity: Part 2," Rainey builds a groove beneath the horns' warbling exchange, eliciting clipped retorts from Robertson and a repeating patter from Ballou, before his galloping solo. Spotlighting the group's egalitarianism, the horns recede for a duet of Gress' thrumming runs and Rainey's clacking rim rolls.

"Ducks & Geese...or Rabbits?" opens with piercing wails and growling slurs from the trumpets, as sparse atmospherics reign. Gress' bowed drones mingle with Robertson's snarls, sounding like a didgeridoo. Malleted drums provide deep accompaniment before Rainey's martial solo ushers in an elegant concluding trumpet theme. Bass hits punctuate skittering drums and begin to pulsate under the curt bleats of "Basal D. Ganglia." Its spare middle section of bows, mutes and scraped cymbals gives way to an intensifying, prodding groove as the darting trumpets veer ever closer together in the final crescendo. Never forced, the MacroQuarktet's bold improvisations unfurl with an assurance of intent and breadth of imagination that obviates composition.

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Ancón

Slam Records
2012

buy
 

Party Enders

Concord Jazz
2012

buy
Superdesert

Superdesert

Not Two Records
2010

buy
[NOD]

[NOD]

ILK Music
2009

buy
Superdesert

Superdesert

Not Two Records
2009

buy
Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone

Each Part a Whole:...

Ruby Flower Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Dodecahedron CD/LP/Track Review
Dodecahedron
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2018
Read The Chopin Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Chopin Project
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "Compassion" CD/LP/Track Review Compassion
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Afro-Caribbean Mixtape" CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "No Revenge Necessary" CD/LP/Track Review No Revenge Necessary
by Doug Collette
Published: May 16, 2018
Read "Float The Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Cubist" CD/LP/Track Review Cubist
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Ronnie Scott's
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2017