2

Justin Morell: Justin Morell Dectet - Subjects and Compliments

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Justin Morell: Justin Morell Dectet - Subjects and Compliments Guitarist Justin Morell has succumb to his inner conflict between jazz and classical musics and composed a dozen pieces bowing to each in what may best be considered a jazz suite. This is not Gunther Schuller's "Third Stream" or the Modern Jazz Quartet's chamber jazz. It is a little bigger than that. Morell leads one of those provocative ensembles that is neither a big band or a small combo.

There is orchestral magic between seven- and eleven- member groups that cast the music they perform against a sonic white background, where ingenuity and talent are necessary to fill in the spaces with color. Miles Davis's Nonet and Art Pepper's + Eleven fall into this category, as well as Morell's dectet.

Morell weaves among straight compositions a series of fugues in multiple voices. Here he uses his reeds section to great effect often with a single reed as a voice. The most complex of these is "Fugue in E-flat, in five voices." It is the most dissonant piece on the recording using percussion and bass as two of the voices in the fugue. The result is a highly listenable piece of music that explores as much as it entertains.

"The Straight Man" follows, continuing the edgy anxiety of the fugue and giving the mood a decidedly noire feel. So much of Morell's music here has a cinematic quality that is very appealing. This little-big band recording is very good and highly accessible.

Track Listing: Noun Ember; Fugue in B, In Three Voices; The Wobbler; O; Fugue in B- flat, In Three Voices; Fugue in E-flat, In Five Voices; The Straight Man; Fugue in E, In Four Voices; Sun Subtle; Fugue in C, In Three Voices; Sang.

Personnel: Bob Sheppard: alto and soprano saxophones; Ben Wendel: tenor saxophone, bassoon; Matt Otto: tenor saxophone; Phil O’Connor: bass clarinet, tenor and soprano saxophones; John Daversa: trumpet and flugelhorn; Alan Ferber: trombone; George Thatcher: bass trombone; Justin Morell: guitar; Leonard Thompson: piano; Damian Erskine: bass; Mark Ferber: drums.

Title: Justin Morell Dectet - Subjects and Compliments | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "The Arrangement" CD/LP/Track Review The Arrangement
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Freedom is a State of Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is a State of Mind
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Blackwater
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Open The Curtains" CD/LP/Track Review Open The Curtains
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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