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

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Red Rocks 7/8/78" CD/LP/Track Review Red Rocks 7/8/78
by Doug Collette
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "The Space Between" CD/LP/Track Review The Space Between
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth
by Doug Collette
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "I Walk Amongst Humans" CD/LP/Track Review I Walk Amongst Humans
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!