109

Jazz Composers Collective Concert Series

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Kimbrough & Noumena Rick Margitza Quintet
New York City
April 2000

A lot can happen when a bandleader makes seemingly minor changes in standard jazz instrumentation. Frank Kimbrough’s Noumena, for instance, omits the bass. Saxophonist Scott Robinson occasionally puts down his tenor to play bass saxophone — an elephantine instrument that one practically has to climb onto, like a tractor. While the bass sax doesn’t cut through, mix-wise, the way a double bass would, it does give Noumena’s music an extra dose of unpredictability. Combining with Robinson on saxophones and the leader on piano are two suitably outward-bound musicians: guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Tony Moreno.
The absence of bass sets the stage for arresting colors and combinations. Kimbrough solos on "Passage," solidly in tempo and supported only by Moreno’s drums. When Robinson takes over as soloist and Kimbrough comps, the swinging yet ethereal duo work of Dave Liebman and Richard Beirach comes to mind. The order/chaos conundrums posed by "Ancestor" recall Paul Bley’s quartet with Bill Frisell, John Surman, and Paul Motian. But Noumena is distinguished from its historical antecedents by Kimbrough’s compositional voice, which shines through most clearly on the wall-of-sound vamp of "Four By Four" and the hypnotic descending line of "Svengali."
Next to Noumena, the Rick Margitza Quintet comes off as decidedly mainstream. The noted tenor man can play his butt off, no question — and so can his bandmates Franck Amsallem on piano, John Hart on guitar, Scott Colley on bass, and Ian Froman on drums. But there’s a formulaic, by-the-book quality to the group’s set: touches of funk on "Gypsies," latin on "14-Bar Blues," bright up-tempo swing on Chick Corea’s "You’re Everything," waltz time on "Heart of Hearts," and modal burning on "Father John." Colley and Froman pack quite a combined punch, and Hart is in especially good form, but it takes Margitza a little while to loosen up. But boy, does he loosen up: after the final tune he invites the audience to hang out for milk and cookies (no kidding).
There may not be milk and cookies at the next installment of the Jazz Composers Collective concert series, but the program is enticing nonetheless: the Ron Horton Big Band will play the music of Andrew Hill, and Ellery Eskelin will appear with Andrea Parkins and Jim Black. Mark your calendars for May 18.


Shop

More Articles

Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017
Read Kronos Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kronos Festival 2017
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 12, 2017
Read The Wood Brothers at Higher Ground Live Reviews The Wood Brothers at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Andy Milne and Dapp Theory at SOUTH Jazz Kitchen" Live Reviews Andy Milne and Dapp Theory at SOUTH Jazz Kitchen
by Mike Jacobs
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at The Rusty Nail" Live Reviews The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at The Rusty Nail
by Doug Collette
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Peter Gabriel and Sting at the Pepsi Center" Live Reviews Peter Gabriel and Sting at the Pepsi Center
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "George Benson at Denver Botanic Gardens" Live Reviews George Benson at Denver Botanic Gardens
by Geoff Anderson
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Kronos Festival 2017" Live Reviews Kronos Festival 2017
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 12, 2017

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!