129

Paul Motian Band: Garden of Eden

Sean Patrick Fitzell By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Motian Band: Garden of Eden For about the last fifteen years, drummer Paul Motian has explored the possibilities of two guitars, two saxophones, bass and drums with his Electric Bebop Band. Always drawing from a revolving cast of younger, emergent musicians, he augments the lineup with another guitar on Garden of Eden.

Though a septet with this instrumentation could easily become dense and busy, the tunes are carefully arranged and skillfully executed with a billowy lightness. Saxophonists Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek alternate from playing strict unisons to freer swirling lines, while the cleanly phrased guitars of Steve Cardenas, Ben Monder and Jakob Bro (the newest member) weave intricate harmonies underneath. Bassist Jerome Harris often propels the group with deft lines, and Motian's painterly drumming adds structure, texture and nuance. Like having a good discussion, the musicians add their voice without overpowering, exemplified on the atmospheric "Etude, a Motian composition.

The modified instrumentation of this septet also signals a shift in emphasis from reinterpretation of the jazz canon to original music. "Mesmer boasts an uncomplicated, almost folksy melody repeated by Cheek as Malaby modulates the theme by doubling the line or playing only snatches of it to alter its feel. The guitarists also toy with the sequence, so that the theme is heard in varying phases with different voicings. The tune spotlights Harris, who is free to improvise around the others' movement. This is a recurrent pattern: whether it's Bro's twisting on "Mumbo Jumbo, Monder's shimmering against the swingy motif of "Prelude to Narcissus, or Malaby's soaring exclamations on "Endless, one or two musicians are featured on each tune, the others mutually supportive.

With fourteen tracks totaling just under 57 minutes (the longest around is around seven minutes), this music is not a parade of soloists playing over changes. Rather, it's about collective expression, each piece evocative of a different mood.


Track Listing: Pithecanthropus Erectus; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat; Etude; Mesmer; Mumbo Jumbo; Desert Dream; Balata; Bill; Endless; Prelude 2 Narcissus; Garden of Eden; Manhattan Melodrama; Evidence; Cheryl.

Personnel: Chris Cheek: saxophones; Tony Malaby: saxophones; Jakob Bro: guitar; Ben Monder: guitar; Steve Cardenas: guitar; Jerome Harris: bass; Paul Motian: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Blow" CD/LP/Track Review Blow
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Chant" CD/LP/Track Review Chant
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "The Happiest Man In The World" CD/LP/Track Review The Happiest Man In The World
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Rodeo" CD/LP/Track Review Rodeo
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Wild About You" CD/LP/Track Review Wild About You
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Find Your Wings" CD/LP/Track Review Find Your Wings
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!