Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

172

Orange Then Blue: Hold The Elevator-Live in Europe and other haunts

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Brand new from GM Recordings is Orange Then Blue’s “Hold The Elevator-Live In Europe And Other Haunts”. OTB have released several excellent recordings since the mid 90’s as these musicians are among modern jazz’s best and brightest.

The opener, “Alino Oro” by saxophonist Chris Speed, parallels some of the recent work and involvement with the innovative band “Pachora” (see April 99 AAJ review). “Alino Oro” is a vibrant composition which establishes the ensemble’s large brassy sound as this piece sounds like a triumphant Balkan military march or something to that effect. The Ellington/Strayhorn tune “Smada”, finds the band touching upon classic Ellington charts which reflect the Duke’s brilliant use of chromatic intervals and unorthodox brass-woodwind voicings. This piece quickly blossoms into a motif filled with alternating tempos that trace Latin rhythms to mid-tempo swing. The brilliant multi-instrumentalist reedman Chris Speed, blossoms with gorgeous clarinet work that pays homage to past masters yet Speed pushes the envelope with a keen sense of modernism while directing the band through complex time signatures. Speed and trombonist Jim Leff jab and spar as this piece eventually transcends tra! ditionalism and takes on modern jazz characteristics. It is altogether obvious that these musicians are wearing many hats.

Rhythms abound in “Rufus 7” written by cellist Rufus Cappadocia and saxophonist Matt Darriau. Here, Seido Salisfoski shows his wares with the drumbek and other percussion instruments amid lively horn charts. Matt Darriau’s “Peregrinations” takes on a Monk-ish slant along with a hodgepodge of themes and clever, enticing charts which places emphasis on the rhythmic structure. The band is bold and brassy, displaying verve and determination throughout. Chris Speed’s “RE.Scatter” is a large scale free-jazz romp featuring wicked soloing by saxophonist Andy Laster, pianist Jamie Saft and trumpeter Cuong Vu. On “RE.Scatter” there are enough twists and turns and thematic variations to satisfy one’s voracious modern jazz appetite. Another highlight is the fantastic rendition of saxophonist/composer Tim Berne’s sinewy and complex composition, “Bloodcount”. Chris Speed has performed with Berne for several years as a member of the band, Bloodcount.

A composition titled “Sich Reped” by saxophonist Andrew D’ Angelo smacks the listener in the face like a wet towel. George Schuller’s propulsive drumming pulls the thematic movements together with strong rhythmic development as OTB pull out the stops complete with insightful dialogue among tuba player Jose Davila, french hornist Tom Varner, and alto saxophonist’s Andrew D’ Angelo and Andy Laster. A fitting finale to a powerhouse recording.

Simply put, “Hold The Elevator” is essential listening as OTB create quite an impact with their robust and skillful assault on modern jazz. **** ½


Personnel:

Chris Speed; Tenor Sax/Clarinet: Andrew D

Title: Hold The Elevator-Live in Europe and other haunts | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: GM Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Gateway" CD/LP/Track Review Gateway
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "On Air" CD/LP/Track Review On Air
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "g a b b r o" CD/LP/Track Review g a b b r o
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "The Source" CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "I Know Who I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017