Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

5

Quinsin Nachoff: Flux

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Listening to Flux by saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff, it's easy to see in your mind's eye the DNA double helix beautifully spinning in the dark space of the human cell. That's because Nachoff composes tight, complex chamber pieces, seemingly delicate in structure, but able to withstand the attack of the jazz infantry.

Nachoff's training and experience writing for orchestras, chamber ensembles, plus new music, brings a depth to his jazz bona fides. Plus, working with heavyweights like Ralph Alessi, Jonathan Finlayson, Tim Hagans, Jim Black, and Kenny Wheeler has solidified his jazz credentials.

What is particularly interesting here is that the music for Flux, except for maybe the piece "Tilted" could, okay should, also be recorded by a string quartet. The music is intricately woven like chamber music, but disseminated by two saxophones, piano, and drums. Nachoff plays tenor accompanied by David Binney's alto saxophone, the piano seat is held by Matt Mitchell (Tim Berne, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa), and the legendary Downtown drummer Kenny Wollesen. With a quartet of jazz musicians, the DNA of Nachoff's compositions undergo a kind of genetic recombination. The intricate structures remain intact, but an improviser's mutation allows for the pieces to evolve. Wollesen opens "Tightrope" with whirling hoses, before the piano signals a march of saxophones that bisect the composition to allow Mitchell's solo. The quartet's self-command is engaged in a battle with each individual player's sense of freedom, making for that agitation that marks all great music.

Switching to electric piano, Mitchell signals a smoothing out of sounds. The piece softens with both saxophonists running in parallel lines and Wollesen keeping an imperturbable pulse. That is until the music slips into, and I have to say out of nowhere, a reggae beat. At first listen, the complexity crowds the ear. With subsequent spins Nachoff's vision—let's say his playfulness—slips through.

Track Listing: Tightrope; Complimentary Opposites; Mind's Ear I; Mind's Ear II; Astral Echo Poem; Titled.

Personnel: David Binney: alto saxophone; Quinsin Nachoff: tenor saxophone; Matt Mitchell: piano; Fender Rhodes; Wurlitzer, Moog Rogue; organ; Kenny Wollensen: drums, tubular bells; handcrafted percussion.

Title: Flux | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Mythology Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Avant-Garde Party Music" CD/LP/Track Review Avant-Garde Party Music
by John Sharpe
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "UpRoot" CD/LP/Track Review UpRoot
by David Rocheleau-Houle
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "ON Tour" CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Afloat" CD/LP/Track Review Afloat
by Gareth Thompson
Published: November 25, 2017
Read "Songs Without Words" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Without Words
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Ockeghem Octets" CD/LP/Track Review Ockeghem Octets
by John Eyles
Published: July 14, 2017