Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

10

John Hollenbeck / Alban Darche / Sébastien Boisseau / Samuel Blaser: J.A.S.S.

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
J.A.S.S. as in the first letters of the names of American drummer John Hollenbeck, French saxophonist Alban Darche and double bassist Sébastien Boisseau and Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser. But Jass also as the term used by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in March 1917 for the very first jazz-album recording or just the name of centuries-old popular card game in Switzerland and Austria.

All of the above references relevant to this quartet who first played together in Berlin in July 2011 and recorded its debut after an artist's residency in Nantes, France, the hometown of Darche and Boisseau. The music features the highly personal, distinct compositional skills of Hollenbeck, Darche and Blaser, observing in an amused manner on the history of jazz, and packed with strong, playful and nuanced melodies.

This collective quartet keeps a delicate balance between its four musicians, emphasizing the organic highly melodic flow within its compact, well-constructed compositions. Darche and Blaser's playing stresses a beautiful singing and conversational quality while Hollenbeck and Boisseau vary the rhythmic basis constantly, alternating between loose pulses, exploratory sounds, and light swinging ones.

The quartet enables Hollenbeck to re-contextualize some of his past compositions within a new setting. "Jazz Envy," which he previously performed, and Jazz Bigband Graz on Joys & Desires (Intuition, 2005), is anchored within a strong pulse, but within this rhythmic framework the musicians have the freedom to keep exploring its theme. "Limp Mint," originally from Claudia Quintet's Semi Formal (Cuneiform, 2005) retains its dramatic story narrative, delivered now from four sonic angles that intensify its enigmatic story lines. "No D," from Claudia Quintet debut (CRI, 2002) has the most complex and demanding structure, shifting between pulses and cyclical loose, and dense forms of interplay.

Darche's "Water" and "Driving License" highlights the immediate, intuitive bond with Blaser. Both exchanging back and forth ideas, constructing thick, detailed articulations. His ironic "Miss Univers 2031" and "Tricéphale" unfold like a dense stories with many twists. Blaser's two compositions, "Recurring Dreams" and "It began to get gark," stress his unique, searching vocabulary on the trombone.

Highly impressive debut that calls for following meetings of this quartet.

Track Listing: Recurring dreams; Saj's; Jazz envy; Water; Limp mint; Driving license; No D; Miss Univers 2031; It began to get dark; Tricéphale.

Personnel: Samuel Blaser: trombone; Alban Darche: tenor saxophone; Sébastien Boisseau: double bass; John Hollenbeck: drums.

Title: J.A.S.S. | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Yolk Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Solo a Genoa CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genoa
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Back Before Bach: Musical Journeys" CD/LP/Track Review Back Before Bach: Musical Journeys
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Live In Belgium" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Belgium
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 4, 2018
Read "Tag Book" CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Serenade for Horace" CD/LP/Track Review Serenade for Horace
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "A Wing Dissolved In Light" CD/LP/Track Review A Wing Dissolved In Light
by John Sharpe
Published: July 29, 2017