Drummer Jared Schonig
has tried something different on his first recording as a leader. He has released two albums featuring the same eight original compositions played in two different settings, one with a quintet and one with a big band. The drive and muscular rhythmic pulse of his writing come through in both configurations.
Jared Schonig Two Takes -Vol. 1: Quintet Anzic Records
Outside of four brief drum interludes, all the tunes on this album are played by an exuberant quintet that features alto saxophonist Godwin Louis
and trumpeter Marquis Hill
consistently playing with emotion and fire. The two horns sail effortlessly above the tight flowing hard bop rhythms of "White Out" and "NUTS." and sing elegantly on the brisk waltz "Eight Twenty." Luis Perdomo
's piano sets the tone on the more subdued but clipped pace of "Climb," which also carries a deep funk undertone in Matt Clohesy
's bass playing. Perdomo and Clohesy also mesh together beautifully when setting the still, calm mood of "Tig Mack."
Some tracks have a more overt funk influence than others. "Sound Evidence" 's simmering cool is built from irregular drum beats, stuttering horns, and thick bass with Fender Rhodes lines additionally embedded in the mix while "Sabotage" is a straight ahead cocktail of hip beats, soul riffs and wrangling horn chases. "Gibbs St." ends the album with the band taking a leisurely stroll over the leader's slow but steady pace. In this incarnation, Schonig's tunes come out tight and effortlessly swinging.
Jared Schonig Two Takes -Vol. 2: Big Band Anzic Records
For the big band versions of Vol. 1's eight main compositions, Schonig gets really ambitious by having eight different composers/arrangers each tackle one piece. The arrangers are Alan Ferber
, Jim McNeely
, Mike Holober
, Miho Hazama
, Darcy James Argue
, John Daversa
, Laurence Hobgood
and Brian Krock
Some arrangements closely follow the lines of the small group versions while others get more fanciful. Ferber's treatment of "Sabotage," Daversa's version of "NUTS" and Hobgood's take on "Eight Twenty" build brassy extensions around the sound of the quintet versions. Holober's "Climb" arrangement adds an eerie, atonal layer to the group playing and leaves space for rich sax solos by Jason Rigby
and Charles Pillow
. Hazama has contrasting reed and brass lines darting over slippery rhythm action on "Sound Evidence" while Argue refashions "Tig Mack" 's feeling of quiet into a feature for the soft twang of Nir Felder
's guitar enhanced by echoing flutes. For "Gibbs St." Krock has the rhythm section, trumpets, trombones and saxophones dropping in section by section, making the sound dense and adding leading to heavy, brooding solos by Donny McCaslin
on tenor sax and Ike Sturm
on electric bass. The musicians on this volume change from track to track but Schonig remains a constant presence on the drums, driving the ensembles with flair and explosive power just as he does on the quintet album.
Tracks and PersonnelTwo Takes -Vol. 1: Quintet
Tracks: Intro to White Out; White Out; Climb; NUTS; Drum Interlude #1; Eight Twenty; Drum Interlude #2; Tig Mack; Sound Evidence; Drum Interlude #3; Sabotage; Gibbs St.
Personnel: Jared Schonig: drums & compositions; Marquis Hill: trumpet; Godwin Louis: alto saxophone; Luis Perdomo: piano, Rhodes; Matt Clohesy: acoustic bass. Two Takes -Vol. 2: Big Band
Tracks: Sabotage; White Out; Climb; Sound Evidence; Tig Mack; NUTS; Eight Twenty; Gibbs St.
Personnel: Jared Schonig: drums; Jon Gordon: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute (3,4,7,8); Charles Pillow: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, alto flute, bass flute, oboe (3,4,5,7,8); Dave Pietro: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute (1,2,5,6); Ben Kono: alto saxophone, flute (1,2,5,6); Donny McCaslin, Jason Rigby: tenor saxophone, clarinet (3,4,7,8); Troy Roberts: tenor saxophone (1,2,6); Quinson Nachoff: tenor saxophone, clarinet (1,2,5,6); Carl Maraghi: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Tony Kadleck, Jon Owens, Brian Pareschi: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jonathan Powell: trumpet, flugelhorn (3,4,7,8); Scott Wendholt: trumpet, flugelhorn (1,2,5,6); Michael Davis, Alan Ferber: trombone; Marshall Gilkes: trombone (3,4,7,8); Keith O'Quinn: trombone (1,2,5,6); Nir Felder: guitar; Adam Birnbaum: piano (1,2,5,6); David Cook: piano (3,4,7,8), Rhodes (3); Ike Sturm: acoustic bass (4), electric bass (8); Matt Clohesy: acoustic bass (2,3,5,6,7); Dan Loomis: acoustic bass (1); Matt Holman: conductor.