All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

198

James Carney Group: Green-Wood

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
James Carney cites a long and varied line of influences on his music that includes Henry Threadgill, Keith Emerson, Steve Reich and Bill Monroe. That's an eclectic mix, and all have a certain bearing on his compositions.

Carney, who won the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Award, composes music in his head and then writes it down. That gives him a clearer picture of the direction he wants and also makes it easier to change.

The compositions on Green-Wood are a mixed bag of the old and new. Some were created and developed over several years; others are of more recent vintage. They were played in different combinations with members of this band before Carney wrote the arrangements with this septet in mind.

Carney pours several styles into the melting pot of his compositions. It's free-for-all on "Power, as tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby infuses a broad swath of notes to sit atop Carney's analog synthesizer. The notes float around and about as bassist Chris Lightcap and drummer Mark Ferber keep the pulse. The disparate statements are cleared as a melody emerges from Peter Epstein's soprano saxophone. The whole atmosphere has changed; the band is now in a groove. The shifts in timbre are in evidence right through. Carney makes sure his arrangements give the soloists room and they take advantage, opening the door to a wellspring of ideas.

Carney orchestrates "Shame on the synthesizer, gradually upping the tension. Again it's Malaby who inveigles in, but Carney comes back to envelop both Malaby and Ferber in the tumult. The density of the instrumentation and the surge of the dynamics work well before it comes to rest on the lonely cry of the synthesizer.

Half the Battle begins as an up-tempo, sparkling tune. But given Carney's characterization of his music, the tempo shifts ebb and flow. Carney, on piano, and Malaby move it into the mainstream with solid support from the rhythm section. Ralph Alessi cues in on trumpet, his lines cohesive and buoyant, turning this into a fine ensemble effort.


Track Listing: Power; Smog Cutter; It

Personnel: Peter Epstein: soprano saxophone; Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Josh Roseman: trombone; James Carney: acoustic and electric pianos, analog synthesizer and orchestra bells; Chris Lightcap: bass; Mark Ferber: drums.

Title: Green-Wood | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ways & Means

Ways & Means

Songlines Recordings
2009

buy
Green-Wood

Green-Wood

Songlines Recordings
2007

buy
Thread

Thread

Jacaranda
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read (Willisau) 1991 Studio CD/LP/Track Review
(Willisau) 1991 Studio
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Tradition CD/LP/Track Review
Tradition
by Chris May
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Life Anthem CD/LP/Track Review
Life Anthem
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Closer To Home CD/LP/Track Review
Closer To Home
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 20, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "Towards Language" CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Blow, Strike & Touch" CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Out of Place" CD/LP/Track Review Out of Place
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Unloved" CD/LP/Track Review Unloved
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik" CD/LP/Track Review Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 5, 2017