168

Fred Hess Quartet: Exposed

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Boulder, Colorado doesn’t crop up often in serious conversations about creative improvised music. But based on the serendipitous contents of this new CIMP release perhaps it should. Fred Hess founded the Boulder Creative Music Ensemble at the onset of the Eighties and according to producer Bob Rusch the aggregate of creative improvisers continues to this day. The longevity of the ensemble illustrates a truth that is integral, but often taken for granted- grass roots mobilization and dissemination has always been the music’s life’s blood.

Joining Chicago percussionist Damon Short and CIMP staples Smoker and Filiano Hess brings to the table seven originals for the newly formed ensemble’s gregarious consumption. Several of the pieces have strong free-bop flavors, like the opening “Cruise,” which ambles along on a fluxing current from Filiano and Short after angling through an obliquely rendered head. The acronym “JHM” is never explained, but it’s musical guise exposes itself through a finger chaffing solo from Filiano replete with the bassist’s own muffled scat accompaniment. Short’s sticks caulk the cracks while applying appropriate friction to keep a flume of cymbal static alight in the bargain. Smoker opens up with a flurry of valve-guided bursts goading Hess to chomp and chew at his reed and in so doing dislodge a downpour of soaring, scalar lines. Filiano initiates “Changing Spectra” with watercolor washes of feather light bowed harmonics ushering the smeared tones of the horns and Short’s undulating array of textural accents. The track never adopts a discernable center for too long and is instead evolves as a circuitous excursion through freely associative call and response. “Going There” picks up right where it’s predecessor left off, sounding a vaguely anthemic head before locking down on a discernable rhythmic framework via Short’s robust traps. Unexpectedly the momentum soon dissipates into another moody musing, this time from Hess, before once again building steam. These unexpected shifts in tempo and design are both liberating and frustrating. They speak directly to the musicians’ pact to position their own desires in a place of paramount importance.

On paper this date may not seem a deviation from the stereotypical CIMP fare- piano-less quartet takes a stab at passionate free jazz showing of formidable technique in the process. Judged by these largely superfluous (but all to prevalent) criteria it isn’t. But careful conscientious reveals the true . That’s one of the abiding beauties of improvised music. Even with what might be considered generic implements erudite musical minds can still devise exceptional methods of expression.


Track Listing: Cruise/ JHM/ Changing Spectra/ Going There/ Joe Said/ Circles Squares and Stars/ Good Question.

Personnel: Fred Hess- tenor saxophone; Paul Smoker- trumpet; Ken Filiano- bass; Damon Short- drums. Recorded: June 11 & 12, 2001, Rossie, NY.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: CIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
George Kahn George Kahn
piano
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Lester Young Lester Young
saxophone
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
reeds
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
sax, tenor
Chris Potter Chris Potter
reeds
Joe Lovano Joe Lovano
saxophone
Joe Henderson Joe Henderson
sax, tenor
Hal Galper Hal Galper
piano

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
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 "One More Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review One More Manhattan
by Jim Olin
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics" CD/LP/Track Review Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics
by Paul Naser
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Odil - Something" CD/LP/Track Review Odil - Something
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Resiliency" CD/LP/Track Review Resiliency
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 18, 2016

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!