The implied significance of Hornets Collage is aided by Russell Summer’s smart graphic design and Amy Wencel’s black & white photographs of the three musicians standing among strange looking, tree-like vines, which may parallel something akin to a hornet’s nest. As we have come to expect with “nuscope recordings”, the listener is also treated to the visual element which aids or stimulates our imaginations in relation to the music at hand.
Hornets Collage is a wonderful new recording from a Trio consisting of pioneering modern jazz clarinetist Francois Houle and the multitalented rhythmic unit featuring guitarist Scott Fields and bassist Jason Lee Roebke. Here, the musicians present us with 18 interconnecting yet distinctly independent pieces that touch upon the fringes of small “classical” group interplay and modern jazz improvisation. On compositions such as “You Call That Constructive Criticism”, the Trio fabricate odd noises from their acoustic instruments as the ensemble-work progresses into a sharp exposition of intuitive dialogue and multicolored tones via ever-evolving themes and weaving passages. Scott Fields’ simply stated slide guitar motifs on “Concerto For Guitar” casts an ethereal resonance which enables Houle and Roebke to paint aural canvases that flirt with one’s imagination and senses. The rich wooden tonalities of the respective instruments along with the nimble and quite detailed interplay of the Trio may suggest the cyclic passing of the seasons or perhaps nature’s unpredictable course.
Overall, Hornets Collage is lyrical, enduring, spacious yet subtly captivating as the Trio pursue layered themes and sweet-tempered choruses while the music breathes life and conjures up vivid imagery proportionate to an – impressionist painter of landscapes or dreams.... Hornets Collage is an authentic synthesis of interminable patterns as the musicians keenly and vividly conceptualize the notions of nature, hard at work. Recommended! * * * *
Francois Houle; Clarinet: Jason Lee Roebke; Double-Bass: Scott Fields; Acoustic Guitar.