98

Thirteen Ways: Focus

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Thirteen Ways: Focus For an artist the process of abstracting an idea reveals the genius of his/her work. Picasso would begin with the reality of say, a bull. He would draw it many ways, each time paring away the unnecessary elements until he had captured the essence of the bull. He said this simplifying leaves merely the idea of the object, which stirs the emotions of a viewer. Mathematicians and poets evoke the same procedure, leaving what many would say; “I could do that.” Sure you can mimic the final product, but the genius is in the process of abstraction. It’s no different for musicians. Think of the simplicity and intellect of a Thelonious Monk song.

The trio Thirteen Ways creates music from the same abstracting process. They distill thoughts and emotions through improvisation and planned interplay. The bass-less trio of pianist Fred Hersch, saxophonist and clarinetist Michael Moore, and drummer/percussionist Gerry Hemingway immediately bring to mind Moore’s now defunct band Clusone Trio. Moore’s teammates, Han Bennink (percussion) and Ernst Reijseger (cello), played almost free association music. Clusone Trio were favorites in Europe where the ex-patriot Moore and the band was based. Like Moore, drummer Gerry Hemingway has spent considerable time in Europe, and working as drummer for the likes of pianists Anthony Braxton and Marilyn Crispell. Fred Hersch and Michael Moore go back to their days at Boston’s New England Conservatory where they studied under Gunther Schuller and Jaki Byard. Hersch who was the pianist of choice for many jazz singers including Janis Siegel, Meredith D’Ambrosio, and leaders such as Gary Burton and Toots Thielmans, has stepped out on his own releasing much admired songbook tributes to Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk, and Rogers & Hammerstein.

The music, while a jazz abstracting, is anything but the colloquial putdown “abstract.” They draw from popular music, quoting bop lines and Latin music with semi-classical chamber music. Their emotion ranges from melancholy to wacky, but note the over-the-top wackiness of Clusone 3. For the ex-patriot and the New Yorker, this is an American music. Taken from the melting pot of Gershwin, Monk, and Copeland, Thirteen Ways has extricated the bare essence of our thing, a jazz thing.

Track List:Focus; Janeology; Out Someplace (Blues For Mathew Shepard); Autumn Eyes; En Tee; Tango Bittersweet; Bug Music; Fim de Inverno; Identity; One Note To My Wife; Habanera.


Track Listing: Focus; Janeology; Out Someplace (Blues For Matthew Shepard); Autumn Eves; En Tee; Tango Bittersweet; Bug Music; Fim De Inverno; Identity; One Note To My Wife; Habanera.

Personnel: Fred Hersch: piano; Michael Moore: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Gerry Hemingway: drums, percussion.

Title: Focus | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Focus
Milky Bomb Records
1999
buy

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Fly South" CD/LP/Track Review Fly South
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Tangofied III" CD/LP/Track Review Tangofied III
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "PointCounterPoint" CD/LP/Track Review PointCounterPoint
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.