All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

473

Jim Black / Alas No Axis: Houseplant

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Stylistically, revered progressive-jazz drummer Jim Black's Houseplant might not signify a radical departure from his four previous albums for the Winter & Winter record label, spanning 2000-2006. However, Black's substantial imprint on jazz—and here, jazz-rock—offers a mark of distinction due to his quirky, and sly manner of filling in the blanks from behind the kit. And true to form, he punches out some torrid backbeats throughout this sprightly session, featuring his longtime musical group, Alas No Axis.

Tenor saxophonist Chris Speed occasionally takes the edge off during these largely, thrusting straight-four works, where the literal implications of hybrid jazz-rock underscore the sequence of events. Guitarist Hilmar Jensson's polytonal textures come to light with his sometimes, jangling chord voicings and sweeping rock-based progressions. The program is spotted with climactic motifs, but Black's comps are also designed with catchy riffs and memorable melodies. Yet the band executes a crash-and-burn groove via Jensson's acid-rock lines and Speed's off-kilter excursions on "Malomice."

The musicians intermittently temper the intensity level with introspective phrasings and movements, evidenced on "Elight, for example." And they render warm overtones amid Jensson's twangy phrasings in concert with the drummer's nappy pulse during "Lowers In A Nine Sense." Nonetheless, Black is the accelerator, along with bassist Skuli Sverrisson's limber and pumping attack. Once again, the leader and his comrades uncannily merge a cheery vibe with modern jazz improvisation and hardcore rock parameters that nicely blend into one neatly wrapped package.


Track Listing: Inkionos; Cahme; Houseplant; Fyr; Malomice; Little; Elight; Naluch; Cadmium Waits; Adbear; Lowers In a Nine Sense; Downstrum.

Personnel: Chris Speed: tenor saxophone; Hilmar Jensson: guitars; Skuli Sverrisson: basses; Jim Black: drums.

Title: Houseplant | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Winter & Winter

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.

Radio
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Malamute

Malamute

Intakt Records
2017

buy
The Constant

The Constant

Intakt Records
2017

buy
 

Endangered Blood

NuBOP RADIO-iTunes(internet radio)
2011

buy
Houseplant

Houseplant

Winter & Winter
2009

buy
Dogs Of Great Indifference

Dogs Of Great...

Winter & Winter
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Contemporary Chaos Practices CD/LP/Track Review
Contemporary Chaos Practices
by Don Phipps
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Changed Beings CD/LP/Track Review
Changed Beings
by Chris May
Published: November 16, 2018
Read We Must Mustn't We CD/LP/Track Review
We Must Mustn't We
by John Sharpe
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One That Is You. CD/LP/Track Review
Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One...
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert" CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Partir" CD/LP/Track Review Partir
by John Kelman
Published: May 30, 2018
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Other Animal" CD/LP/Track Review Other Animal
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 7, 2018
Read "Postcard Collection" CD/LP/Track Review Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Solo vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Solo vol. 1
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2018