289

Gerry Hemingway Twofer: Less is More & Demon Chaser

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count








WHO Trio
Less is More
Clean Feed
2009


Gerry Hemingway Quintet
Demon Chaser
hatOLOGY
2009


Much seems to have gone down in the decade since Michel Wintsch, Gerry Hemingway and Banz Oester released Identity on Leo. That was a solid piano jazz record with hints of the quietude that was, apparently, to come. For their new release, they succeed in finding a new parcel in that melodic minimalism that has Miles Davis, Philip Glass and The Necks as its borders. The title Less is More may be a bit of a cliché, but in this case it couldn't be truer.

The pieces (most group compositions, with two credited to Oester) work in repetition and momentum to build their dynamic, leaving enough space that every accent becomes dramatic. Oester's bass is, necessarily and wonderfully, a solid foundation. Wintsch endlessly recreates melodies, managing quick ideas within slow progressions. Such an expanse gives Hemingway an enormous field in which to play. He is always inventive, but here he sounds as if he's been instructed to play a solo as slow as he could. The elements come together in an odd, enormously pleasing way, with a sort of placid restlessness.

Hemingway has long been a welcome accomplice in the Amsterdam scene. The concert rendered to record on the recently reissued Demon Chaser dates back to 1993, Hemingway employing names familiar within that city's Instant Composer's Pool (American ex-pat saxophonist Michael Moore, trombonist Wolter Wierbos and cellist Ernst Reijseger) for the outing, bringing in bassist Mark Dresser for the other side of the rhythm section. Five of the pieces were penned by Hemingway and are played with a celebratory energy by the band. The sixth, a broad sweep of a take on "Night in Tunisia," perhaps gives indication of the scope and assuredness with which the group plays. The theme is barely hinted at for the first half of the piece's 12 minutes, the horns circling without striking. For the second half, they only get a little closer to the original and yet it's always there. That feeling of collective certainty is felt just as strongly on Hemingway's pieces, even if the themes aren't known ahead of time to the listener. Perhaps that is something that always makes the New Dutch Swing work: as long as all the players are thinking of the same song, they don't really have to play it. Hemingway clearly knows how to use that strength to his advantage.


Tracks and Personnel

Less is More

Tracks: Inside the glade; Still alone; The Pump; Wedding suite; Stardance; Hasna; The Eastern Corner.

Personnel: Michel Wintsch: piano; Banz Oester: bass; Gerry Hemingway: drums.

Demon Chaser

Tracks: Slamadam; A Night in Tunisia; Buoys; Holler Up; Demon Chaser; More Struttin' With Mutton.

Personnel: Michael Moore: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Wolter Wierbos: trombone; Mark Dresser: double bass; Ernst Reijiseger: cello; Berry Hemingway: drums and steel drums.


Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Two  Scandinavian Jazz Orchestras" Multiple Reviews Two Scandinavian Jazz Orchestras
by John Eyles
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Jan Lundgren: Swedish Ballads... & More...  Quietly There" Multiple Reviews Jan Lundgren: Swedish Ballads... & More... Quietly There
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon" Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Albert We Hardly Knew Ye" Multiple Reviews Albert We Hardly Knew Ye
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Nate Wooley Makes America Great Again" Multiple Reviews Nate Wooley Makes America Great Again
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 1, 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!