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...

2

Gene Ess: Fractal Attraction

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Using the voice as a melodic and harmonic instrument above and beyond scat singing or vocalese is increasing in popularity, as evidenced in recordings like Beata Pater's Red (B&B Records, 2013) and Lola Danza's The Island (Evolver, 2012). Vocalist Thana Alexa joins guitarist Gene Ess for an expansion of Ess' genre-breaking jazz philosophy, using the human voice as instrument, thus broadening its palette of applications in jazz.

On the whole, Ess' compositions are angular, with sharp corners and dissonant tendencies. "Silver's Fate" is serpentine, with a complex head that gives way to straight scat singing by Alexa. "Blues for Two" is a bouncing, traditional tune, tightly arranged and delivered. The lengthiest piece on the recording, the 14-minute long "Ascent," is characterized by a John Cage-informed prepared piano approach, executed by David Berkman and Ess in a seamless cascade of musical ideas rolling over one another. While this music sounds free- wheeling, it is an affectation; Ess' compositions are all well-considered and thoughtfully conceived and arranged. The presence of Alexa is merely an extension of Ess' vision, one that is amply realized.

Track Listing: Silver's Fate; Blues For Two; Ascent; Letter From Boston; Tanabata; Fractica; Descent; Fractal Attraction.

Personnel: Gene Ess: guitar; Thana Alexa: voice; David Berkman: piano; Thomson Kneeland: bass; Gene Jackson: drums.

Title: Fractal Attraction | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: SIMP Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Absurdist Theater

Absurdist Theater

SIMP Records
2016

buy
Eternal Monomyth

Eternal Monomyth

SIMP Records
2015

buy
Fractal Attraction

Fractal Attraction

SIMP Records
2013

buy
A Thousand Summers

A Thousand Summers

SIMP Records
2012

buy
Modes of Limited Transcendence

Modes of Limited...

SIMP Records
2009

buy
Modes of Limited Transcendence

Modes of Limited...

SIMP Records
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Osmosis" CD/LP/Track Review Osmosis
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Body" CD/LP/Track Review Body
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e" CD/LP/Track Review 64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Pulse/Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "The Way of It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017