All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

Matt Mitchell: Fiction

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Ches Smith align for a rather remarkable program as Fiction offers additional credence to the respective artist's increased stature in the progressive jazz community and A-list session status. Among their extensive resumes of group affiliations, the instrumentalists are members of saxophonist Tim Berne's Snake Oil group.

Mitchell originally composed these works in 2010, citing them as "musical puzzles." The comprehensive nature of these concise etudes seemingly involves a vast amount of metadata (notes). Initially, he wasn't concerned "whether anyone besides himself would actually be able to play them." However, he executed these pieces with Smith as warm-ups prior to performances with Snake Oil, leading to this release.

Indeed, fascinating and largely different than any piano- drums duet I've ever heard, Mitchell's geometrically engineered tomes contain a myriad of odd-metered phrasings and unison lines. It's meticulously crafted, and abetted by numerous parts where the duo bangs out some intense and quirky improvisational segments. Regardless, their intuition and synergy is quite impressive. The musicians' zigzag across the program while also engaging circular motifs via alternating cadences—as if they're navigating through a maze. With numerous spikes, dips and staggered flows they exude dissonance and melody amid the topsy-turvy song-forms.

"Singe" is a piece that stops and restarts, complemented by the artists' clever trade-offs and mimicking exercises, but Smith lays on the bass drum and executes a host of polytonal cymbals hits as Mitchell raises the pitch and switches octaves. Smith uses the vibes within various segments, providing supplementary hues and textures. And "Nightmare Tesseract," features the pianist's clamoring block chords, tinted with a dour forecast and Smith's bustling drums patterns that insinuate a heightened sense of urgency. Nonetheless Fiction tenders huge quantities of brain candy, akin to a shot of adrenaline that will keep the willing listener on the edge of his or her seat. Passionately recommended...

Track Listing: Veins; Brain Color; Upright; Singe; Wanton Eon; Dadaist Flu; Commas; Id Balm; Ohm Nuggets; Diction; Tether; Action Field; Specialty Hug; Nightmare Tesseract; Narcotic Bases.

Personnel: Matt Mitchell: piano; Ches Smith: drums, percussion, vibraphone.

Title: Fiction | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Pi Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Forage

Forage

Screwgun Records
2017

buy
Vista Accumulation

Vista Accumulation

Pi Recordings
2016

buy
Vista Accumulation

Vista Accumulation

Pi Recordings
2015

buy
Fiction

Fiction

Pi Recordings
2014

buy
Fiction

Fiction

Pi Recordings
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Original Demos" CD/LP/Track Review Original Demos
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The...
by Doug Collette
Published: April 3, 2018
Read "Song From No Man's Land" CD/LP/Track Review Song From No Man's Land
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Setembro" CD/LP/Track Review Setembro
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "As It Should Be: Ballads 2" CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Any Other Way" CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017