All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

9

Tom Rainey Trio: Hotel Grief

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
In spite of a bulging discography, Hotel Grief constitutes only the fourth entry under drummer Tom Rainey's leadership. It follows Pool School (Clean Feed, 2010) and Camino Cielo Echo (Intakt, 2012) by the same all star line up, comprising Mary Halvorson on guitar and Ingrid Laubrock on saxophones. After two studio dates, this time out they recorded live on home turf at the Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village. Being so familiar with one another's styles means that even though collectively birthed the five selections possess a compelling internal logic, while their skills as improvisers mean they retain the freshness and unpredictability.

And they still remain on at least nodding terms to the jazz tradition through the maintenance of pulse, largely expected instrumental roles and narrative arc. In part that's down to Rainey who brings structure and meter to extemporized settings as much as he brings looseness and vitality to more formal occasions. He's a master of combining timbre and rhythm even in these liberated environments, a trait particularly apparent in the unaccompanied introduction to "Briefly Lompoc." The will it, won't it high wire act inherent in all improvised music is most evident in "Proud Achievements In Botany" which veers between repeated minimalist passages and lurching momentum with explosive saxophone bursts.

In its relaxed pace and finely balanced discourse, "Last Overture" might almost be composed. Laubrock's insistent but not overbearing tenor saxophone dominates. Since relocating across the Atlantic she has become one of the leading saxophonists of her generation. Her abstract expression incorporates overblown falsettos, not necessarily as a signifier of passion, but rather as just another flavor of tonal variety among many. Even when the tempo increases the feel is maintained. Towards the finish Halvorson's fuzzed distortion prompts Rainey into an earthy backbeat which starts Laubrock squalling, in a fine opener which sets out the band's stall in convincing fashion.

As one of the most sought after guitarists on the scene, Halvorson melds a distinctive range of approaches into a readily identifiable voice. She moves from ominous rippling to off the wall invention via reiterated underpinning figures. On the title track her initial ballad style guitar is offset by nervy drum cadences. Over the course of 16 minutes they pass through several moods, as the interplay morphs from the pensive to the intense before subsiding to a delicate filigree guitar/saxophone exchange. That's not the end though. A crescendo of burning fretboard, machine gun chatter and skirling soprano completes an excellent outing.

Track Listing: Last Overture; Hotel Grief; Briefly Lompoc; Proud Achievements in Botany; Mr. K.C. (for Keith Copeland).

Personnel: Tom Rainey: batteria; Ingrid Laubrock: sassofoni; Mary Halvorson: chitarra.

Title: Hotel Grief | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Float Upstream

Float Upstream

Intakt Records
2017

buy
Hotel Grief

Hotel Grief

Intakt Records
2016

buy
Obbligato

Obbligato

Intakt Records
2014

buy
Camino Cielo Echo

Camino Cielo Echo

Intakt Records
2012

buy
Pool School

Pool School

Clean Feed Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Alive" CD/LP/Track Review Alive
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 16, 2018
Read "Helix" CD/LP/Track Review Helix
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 4, 2018
Read "Live in Japan" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Japan
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 12, 2018
Read "The Great Nostalgist" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Nostalgist
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 10, 2018
Read "Aladdin's Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Espace Cardin 1977" CD/LP/Track Review Espace Cardin 1977
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 12, 2018