278

Denman Maroney/Ned Rothenberg/ Reuben Radding/Michael Sarin: Gaga

By

Sign in to view read count


Denman Maroney is one of the most exciting pianists around today, just as Nuscope is one of the finest labels for creative music. The pairing is an excellent one on this offering from Maroney, reed player Ned Rothenberg, bassist Reuben Radding and drummer Michael Sarin, all musicians in top form in the service of some stellar compositions.

Gaga presents the free flow of innovative composition that still somehow manages to groove. Rhythmic propulsion is a bit less noticeable in the slow build and jerky earthworm crawl of the title track, epic in its scope and oddly unified as Sarin and Maroney hit together with stunning precision. Yet, in a smaller piece like “Frogs,” the uber-groove drives a bit harder, Radding and Sarin on top of every gesture and shade.

Often, groove is not even really the point, as the compositions on offer here inhabit their own sonic world, somewhere between Webern-ian pointillism and West coast cool. Tonality is also measured in degrees, consonant intervals appearing only to be usurped, rendering them more beautiful. Radding and Rothenberg work symbiotically, as do Sarin and Maroney, the independence of each duo almost conjuring shades of Elliott Carter’s string quartets in the raucous “Fowler’s Blues.”

Yet, it is Maroney’s trademark ‘Hyperpiano’ that brings fresh timbral vigor to the disc. It makes “Frogs” come alive with the sounds of nature, rendering the title absolutely appropriate as the piano rasps, croaks and microtones past Bartók’s “night music” into more palpable nature sounds. By contrast, there are the bell-like delicacies pervading the middle section of “Fowler’s Blues,” wafer-thin as they float by, encompassing all registers while also defying them.

Gaga is a masterpiece on which all the playing is top drawer, embracing timbre and form with equal parts skill and commitment. It’s undoubtedly going to be one of 2008’s best.

 


Track Listing: Fowler

Personnel: Denman Maroney: piano; Ned Rothenberg: reeds; Reuben Radding: bass; Michael Sarin: drums.

Title: Gaga | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Nuscope Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

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 "Heavy Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Weather
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Alma Matters" CD/LP/Track Review Alma Matters
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Stolen Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" CD/LP/Track Review I Try To Remember Where I Come From
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 17, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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