246

Julian Priester & Sam Rivers: Hints on Light and Shadow

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Man vs. Machine was a common phrase or term often heard during the infancy of analog synthesizers, especially when jazz and/or classical artists decided to meld acoustic instruments with electronics. Saxophonist-composer-improviser Anthony Braxton’s infamous and often intriguing duets with synthesist Richard Teitelbaum come to mind, yet history dictates that many of these engagements in general, represented nothing other than mere experiments featuring little if any musical value. On Hints on Light and Shadow, renowned jazz luminaries – saxophonist Sam Rivers and trombonist Julian Priester join forces with synth expert Tucker Martine on this 1997 “Postcards” re-release.

The opener, “Heads of the People” features fervent yet sycophant dialogue between Priester and Martine as though two distinct personalities were going head-to-head via odd mediums, as words would be meaningless or inappropriate. From the onset it becomes quite obvious that the two and three-way interaction is arresting and curiously thought provoking as they dispel any notions of wanton ramblings, or contrived musical speak! Throughout, Martine exhibits his proficiency and keen ear while implementing various patterns and sequences that aim to compliment, shade or counterbalance the often stunning dialogue and interplay of these two modern jazz icons! On “Mister Mayor and Mister Miser”, Martine pursues circular yet subtle passages that underscore Rivers’ and Priester’s potent exchanges yet Martine integrates a metronome-like, pre-programmed recurring sequence which serves as the pulse or implied meter. Here, Martine’s shrewd synth work serves as the glue or common bond. The piece titled, “Autumnal Influences: The Book of Beauty” features Rivers on soprano sax while Martine’s synths remain deep down in the mix as he often mimics Rivers’ upper register dialogue with trombonist Julian Priester yet doesn’t interfere with the often striking improvisation and altogether climactic thematic development.

The title, Hints on Light and Shadow sums it up rather well! Rivers, Priester and Martine have skillfully actualized their visions and sense of direction as they pursue territory that to some staunch jazz aficionados may appear to be a bit odd. Yet it all works rather convincingly! - Not strictly a museum piece or, an art for art’s sake affair, Hints on Light and Shadow is modern, at times free-flowing yet conveys a sense of buoyancy and clear-sightedness which for the most part may seem transparent to the listener. * * * 1/2

Personnel:

Julian Priester; Trombone: Sam River; Tenor & Soprano Sax, Piano, Flute: Tucker Martine; Electronics.

Produced by Ralph Simon

| Record Label: Postcards | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Sarabande" CD/LP/Track Review Sarabande
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 3, 2016
Read "The Digging" CD/LP/Track Review The Digging
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!