175

Rick Helzer: Face In The Mirror

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Rick Helzer: Face In The Mirror
Rick Helzer, composer/pianist/author and Associate Director of Jazz Studies at San Diego State University, displays a complex yet delectably attainable approach to modern jazz. With perennial poll winner James Newton appearing on flute on selected works, the various ensemble alignments provide a discerning glimpse into Helzer's linearly designed and lyrically rich compositional style.

Helzer bridges the best of several jazz-inflected idioms here, consisting of the soloists' brisk unison choruses often tied into bop-like patterns and glancing shifts in meter. He fuses an upbeat vibe that is periodically softened up with Newton's airy passages and saxophonist David Borger or flugelhornist Derek Cannon's exploratory solo flights. On Meade Lux Lewis' "Tell Your Story, Helzer injects stride and bluesy piano motifs into a blithe swing groove. But mobility is the name of the game throughout this stirring affair. During "By His Wounds We Are Healed, Helzer and Newton exchange precise unison lines for a piece that is dappled with subtly penetrating developments.

Ultimately the ensemble maintains a prominent sense of swing amid the fleeting canons of hard bop, where the artists generally expand matters into stylized and structured variations of a given theme. There's quite a bit to get revved up about during this superb reckoning of progressive jazz. Hopefully, Helzer's status will enjoy an upsurge in notoriety due to this articulately arranged and vastly persuasive album. A top ten pick for 2005.

Track Listing

Fire Storms; The Mentor (To James Newton); Tell Your Story (To Meade Lux Lewis); Nobody's Song But Kenny's (To Kenny Wheeler); Bell Chimes In (To Lori Bell); Two Witnesses; By His Wounds We Are Healed; He Who Is Acquainted With Sorrow; Sounds Like; Mingus Meditations; Gethsemane.

Personnel

Chris Conner: bass; David Borgo: tenor sax (4), soprano sax (8); Derek Cannon: flugelhorn (4, 8); Duncan Moore: drums; James Newton: flute (2, 10); Joseph Howell: clarinet (3, 11); Kim Richmond: alto sax (1), soprano sax (6); Lori Bell: flute (5, 8); Rick Helzer: piano.

Album information

Title: Face In The Mirror | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Nine Winds Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Tomato Brain
Tomato Brain
The Golden Age Of Steam
Read The Clawed Stone
The Clawed Stone
John Butcher / Thomas Lehn / Matthew Shipp
Read some kind of peace
some kind of peace
Olafur Arnalds
Read Lost Ships
Lost Ships
Elina Duni / Rob Luft

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place 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 effort that will help musicians 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 bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

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