Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

120

Alex Heitlinger Sextet: Green Light

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
One look at the biographical information about the musicians accompanying trombonist Alex Heitlinger on his début release on Synergy Music reveals that, with one exception, the common denominator is pianist Art Lande, whose sharp and imaginative playing graces Green Light. '04 is, in fact, a particularly good year for fans of Lande, who also appears on woodwind multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless' Shapeshifter (Synergy, '04) and contributes most of the compositions, as he is one of those near-legendary forces who sees widespread recorded exposure all too rarely.

But back to Heitlinger, a player still in his early twenties, yet possessing a mature compositional voice that belies his young age. With a foot firmly planted in modern post bop, Heitlinger's writing for this sextet demonstrates a keen sense of interplay for the front line, as he develops themes that are just as often about intertwining contrapuntal lines as more straightforward harmony. The pieces range from the vivacious title track to the evocative "Dusk," which starts abstractly to paint a picture of early dawn before developing into a swinging modal tune that, along with fine solos from Heitlinger, Lande and bassist Dwight Kilian, demonstrates the strong sense of interplay between Kilian, Lande, and drummer Jill Fredericksen.

"Crazy Jake" is a piece of levity, a challenging stop-start theme constantly interrupting the inherent swing of the tune, with things stopping entirely for Heitlinger's solo, which segues into a kind of keystone cops vibe before finding its way, through an oompah-pah passage, back to the original complicated melody. "Missing You" is a lithe ballad that features saxophonist Peter Sommer's soprano work with lush backing from Heitlinger and trumpeter Greg Gisbert. "The Foot" is a piece of twisted funk that brings to mind some of Robin Eubanks' writing. Eubanks seems, in fact, to be an influence on Heitlinger's playing, although Heitlinger, as accomplished as he is, has yet to develop the kind of distinctive voice and broader technique that will no doubt ultimately evolve and place him in the same league.

Lande, as always, is a joy to experience. Carrying on the tradition of Bill Evans, but with a more cutting edge that also comes from Monk but is beyond imitation of either, he is an artist who has curiously never attained the level of recognition that others have, although clearly equally deserving. With Synergy Music emerging from Denver, Colorado, where Lande lives and teaches, hopefully he'll attain a broader audience through more consistent exposure.

Green Light stands as an engaging album that not only brings Heitlinger to light as a composer and player to watch, but also presents a group of equally fine and under-exposed musicians and, of course, Lande, whose pervasive presence is felt on the session, even when he isn't actually playing.


Track Listing: Green Light; Dusk; Crazy Jake; Missing You; The Foot; Pondering; Euphoria; Magical Interstices/Casco Bay; Roberta's Purple Scarf; Xela - Trombone Warrior

Personnel: Alex Heitlinger (trombone), Greg Gisbert (trumpet, flugelhorn), Peter Sommer (tenor, soprano and alto saxophones), Art Lande (piano), Dwight Kilian (upright and electric bass), Jill Fredericksen (drums)

Title: Green Light | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Synergy Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Alleviation CD/LP/Track Review Alleviation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Last Minute Panic CD/LP/Track Review Last Minute Panic
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Murphy CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Haberdashery CD/LP/Track Review Haberdashery
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Song of the Silver Geese CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Silver Geese
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Live at Kolarac CD/LP/Track Review Live at Kolarac
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Of Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Of Tides
by John Eyles
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Windmills" CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Plodi" CD/LP/Track Review Plodi
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2017

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!