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.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Konnex Records | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute to Horace Parlan" CD/LP/Track Review My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute to Horace Parlan
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "A Good Time Was Had By All" CD/LP/Track Review A Good Time Was Had By All
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Fourtune" CD/LP/Track Review Fourtune
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by John Sharpe
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "Obfusc/ation" CD/LP/Track Review Obfusc/ation
by Doug Collette
Published: April 18, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!