98

Thirteen Ways: Focus

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
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 Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Trillium Falls" CD/LP/Track Review Trillium Falls
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Thank You For Coming To Life" CD/LP/Track Review Thank You For Coming To Life
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "The Traveller's Tale" CD/LP/Track Review The Traveller's Tale
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 17, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.