2

Gene Ess: Fractal Attraction

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Gene Ess: Fractal Attraction 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.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: SIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "A Handful Of Songs" CD/LP/Track Review A Handful Of Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Clean Spring" CD/LP/Track Review Clean Spring
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Man Made Object" CD/LP/Track Review Man Made Object
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Josh At Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Josh At Midnight
by James Nadal
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!