190

Roscoe Mitchell and the Note Factory: Far Side

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Roscoe Mitchell and the Note Factory: Far Side Roscoe Mitchell's Far Side, with its theatrical quality, could easily function as a soundtrack to a modernist play. The beginning of the first and longest piece, "Far Side/Cards/Far Side," is reminiscent of the works of 20th century composers like Alfred Schnitke and Arvo Pärt, in the ominous sea of notes pouring out of the dual pianos and basses that buoy Mitchell's breathy and urgent alto sound.

As Mitchell's saxophone grows stronger and clearer, the strings give way to an almost Beckett-ian six-way dialogue among the trumpet, alto sax, piano, bass, cello and drums. The second half starts with a fast-paced trio improvisation, led by pianist Vijay Iyer. Mitchell then joins in, taking the lead on soprano saxophone with a complex solo that ends abruptly. The thread of thought is quickly picked up by trumpeter Corey Wilkes, who creates a stark contrast to the soprano by playing mainly in the lower registers. Wilkes is as perfect a partner to Mitchell as the late Lester Bowie was, which is not to say that the trumpeter's tone is derivative; Wilkes' is deeper and brassier—although, like Bowie, heavily influenced by R&B and blues.

As with his other recent works, Far Side is an effective and seamless amalgam between composition and improvisation. "Quintet 2007 A For Eight" is a multi-instrumental stream-of-consciousness, improvised dialogue that is sometimes reminiscent of an orchestra at practice. "Ex Flover Five" is much more structured—even if not completely devoid of improvised lines—with Craig Taborn playing circular, almost Don Pullen-esque lines, supported by arco bass and percussive drum work, and with alto and trumpet introducing brief anxious wails...often together, but sometimes following each other. The piece ends with a very expressive cello/alto duet.

"Trio Four for Eight" starts as a spirited, mostly improvised, discussion between cello, flute and bass. Trumpet replaces flute as the momentum builds, the pianos then entering on this more structured, melancholic tune. The piece ends with a unique and quite mellifluous drum duet.

This album is further testament that, as a composer, improviser, musician and leader, Roscoe Mitchell continues to innovate and come up with fresh musical concept that will surely, like all of his work, stand the test of time.

Track Listing: Far Side/Cards/Far Side; Quintet 2007 A For Eight; Trio Four For Eight; Ex Flover Five.

Personnel: Roscoe Mitchell: saxophones, flutes; Corey Wilkes: trumpet, flugelhorn; Craig Taborn: piano; Vijay Iyer: piano; Harison Bankhead: double-bass, cello; Jaribu Shahid: double-bass; Tani Tabbal: drums; Vincent Davis: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Sir Nebula" CD/LP/Track Review Sir Nebula
by Doug Collette
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Big City Love" CD/LP/Track Review Big City Love
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 24, 2016
Read "Tiresia" CD/LP/Track Review Tiresia
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Copenhagen Diaries" CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Diaries
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Upset The Status Quo" CD/LP/Track Review Upset The Status Quo
by James Nadal
Published: May 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!