2

The Turbine!: Entropy/Enthalpy

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
The Turbine!: Entropy/Enthalpy
Among a stream of US/French collaborations documented on the Rogue Art label, The Turbine! represents an unlikely combination: two double basses and two drum kits. One pair hails from each side of the ocean with the Chicago team of Hamid Drake and Harrison Bankhead matched against Benjamin Duboc and Ramon Lopez (in fact a Paris-based Spaniard). The double CD package gathers excerpts selected from six live sets during a 2014 tour organized by a Transatlantic music network entitled The Bridge. Eight cuts on the first CD present just the core group, while the second features guests on each of four numbers.

Even though nothing is scripted, the Drake/Bankhead tandem ensures that links to the jazz tradition are never far away. It must be a challenge to play with Drake who often packs enough punch and swing for a whole section. However, apart from "Natural Energy" in which Drake and Lopez let themselves off the leash, the drums often play in bursts, which allows the basses and each other to be heard. Unfortunately, the positioning of the two basses in the middle of the stereo picture makes it hard to differentiate between them.

However Bankhead typically signals melodic intent, by means of an infectious riff in "Steaming" and with his flowing song-like arco line in the rhythmic stew of "Rotor/Stator," a piece also distinguished early on by the singing qualities of Lopez' tablas. Duboc on the other hand majors on texture and timbre, though both stray into each other's supposed bailiwick. Both basses figure prominently in "Thermodynamic Potential" and enjoy a standoff in "Sparks In The Dark" accompanied by quietly churning drums, and Lopez hand percussion once again.

As soon as guest horns join in, their presence casts the drums and bass in a supporting role, which perhaps devalues the concept, but does have the benefit of providing variation for the listener. On "Electrical Coil" trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo proves largely a melodist as his trumpet drifts over the rippling basses. Duboc surfaces with a menacing pizzicato while Bankhead once more bestows a lyrical strain. The piece ends with a loose shuffle during which Cappozzo briefly quotes Miles Davis' licks over an emphatic rhythm.

William Parker appears on two selections which are unsurprisingly bass dominated. On "Relief Valves" he takes center stage between two pizzicato basses where he makes his instrument sigh and moan, then strums like an African guitar. Finally on "Free Power" saxophonist Lionel Garcin adds a more abstract aura. His overblown vocalized inflections and atmospheric alto multiphonics vie with sawing basses and pulsing drums. The album concludes with his saxophone incantation over roiling drums and Drake's powerful 4/4 groove.

Track Listing

Rotor/Stator; Thermodynamic Potential; Electric Network; Steaming; Magnetic Induction; Sparks In The Dark; Natural Energy; Compression/Depression; Electrical Coil; Relief Valves; 500 Megawatts; Free Power.

Personnel

Harrison Bankhead: bass; Hamid Drake: drums, frame drum, vocal; Benjamin Duboc: bass; Ramon Lopez: drums, tablas, percussion; Jean-Luc Cappozzo: trumpet (9), William Parker: bass (10, 11); Lionel Garcin: alto saxophone (12).

Album information

Title: Entropy/Enthalpy | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Rogue Art

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near Paris
Jazz Near Paris
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Westward Bound!
Harold Land
Jazz Mix 12
Kris T Reeder
Horizons Quartet
Horizons Quartet
3,5,8
Gui Duvignau
On Fire
Bévort 3
Lockdown
Joshua Jern Jazz Orchestra

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.