Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
10

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

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
John Hollenbeck / Alban Darche / Sébastien Boisseau / Samuel Blaser: J.A.S.S. 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.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Yolk Records


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Super Petite
Super Petite
Cuneiform Records
2016
buy
John Hollenbeck: Songs I Like a Lot
John Hollenbeck:...
Sunnyside Records
2013
buy
September
September
Cuneiform Records
2013
buy
Royal Toast
Royal Toast
Cuneiform Records
2010
buy
John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble: Eternal Interlude
John Hollenbeck Large...
Sunnyside Records
2009
buy
Rainbow Jimmies
Rainbow Jimmies
GPE Records
2009
buy
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Carla Bley Carla Bley
piano
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Vijay Iyer Vijay Iyer
piano
Andrew Hill Andrew Hill
piano
Paul Motian Paul Motian
drums
Thomas Chapin Thomas Chapin
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.