141

Fonda/McPhee/White/Karetnick: Heat Suite

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Fonda/McPhee/White/Karetnick: Heat Suite

Heat Suite, a four-part, freely improvised performance, is a towering achievement. It is music that is constantly flowing, constantly growing. It is full of flux and variety, and every note, every rhythm evolves organically and logically from what has previously been created.

"Part 1" begins with Fonda's scraping arco bass, which becomes the platform for White's alto. Soon enough, White and Karetnick engage in a duet, an unmetered meeting in which a fast pulse is suggested but not stated. There are other segments in Heat Suite that are free or rubato, but there's also time, funky time, Afro-time, and swinging time. There's a segment early in "Part 3" where Fonda struts a second line beat, Karetnick plays a complex but jumping counterpoint on brushes, and McPhee's trumpet intones a poignant song. "Part 4" opens with throbbing mallet rhythms underpinning White's stately alto. And much of "Part 2" has rip-roaring tenor work by White and McPhee, soloing and jointly improvising, over a barrelling, very fast 4/4 swing tempo.

All four musicians play with invention and passion, often displaying lyricism, even restraint. Joe McPhee is, quite simply, magnificent. The booklet says he plays pocket trumpet, but his sound is so full and rounded, so warm that it's easy to think he's playing a full-sized instrument. McPhee is a master of extended techniques on all his instruments, but he is also a master of beauty. So many of his improvisations could be songs. White, too, sounds very good. He listens well and his driving tenor solo on "Part 2" is especially powerful.

Fonda and Karetnick play with astonishing unity. They suggest a wild variety of approaches from rubato to marcato to swing, and always seem to think as one. Their solo work is consistently outstanding. If you care at all about the cutting edge of jazz, or free music generally, you'll want to check out Heat Suite. And if you have open ears, you'll find this one very much worth your while.

Visit Konnex Records on the web.

Track Listing: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Personnel: Joe Fonda, bass, flute, voice, percussion; Joe McPhee, pocket trumpet, tenor sax, soprano sax; Cliff White, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax; Ben Karetnick, drums, percussion.

Title: Heat Suite | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Konnex Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read L.O.T.U.S. CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Art in the Age of Automation CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Innate" CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Loafer's Hollow" CD/LP/Track Review Loafer's Hollow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "ScratchBop" CD/LP/Track Review ScratchBop
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Atticus Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Atticus Live!
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "One Minute Later" CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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