Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Mike Nock / Laurenz Pike: Kindred

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Despite the lack of major label support—or, perhaps, as a result of it—jazz appears to be in a strange period of ascendancy, where the number of people playing it seems diametric to the industry support it receives. New Zealand-born Mike Nock should know; since relocating to Sydney, Australia in the mid-1980s—after spending a quarter century in the US, co-leading early fusion group The Fourth Way, releasing a series of outstanding records like In Out and Around (Timeless, 1978), and cutting his teeth with saxophonist John Handy and, most significantly, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef—Nock has, in an educational role and on the bandstand, helped foster a scene that he now describes as "a mecca for younger jazz musicians whose music touches on a wide range of cultures, which I find quite amazing and inspiring."

Mentoring, however, is meant to work both ways and, on Kindred, Nock collaborates with former student Laurenz Pike, who has since gone onto his own success with the electo-centic post-rock band, PVT. If Nock was a seminal part of Pike's early days—the thirty-something drummer first studying and, ultimately, touring the world with the septuagenarian pianist—the two are now on equal footing, clearly inspiring each other in a set where improvisational spirit and linguistic reference points place it in the jazz continuum, even if it's not exactly your granddaddy's jazz.

Pike's involvement in the realms of electronics and post-production barely surface here. Kindred's only obvious nod is, in fact, the three-second gap between the opening title track—where Pike contributes one of the few solid (albeit light and pliant) pulses—and the impressionistic "Zeus' Dream," where a single piano chord (from the start of "Satori No Mado," perhaps?) is placed, backwards, swelling from nothing to a crescendo that cuts suddenly when Nock's dark-hued pianism begins. Pike's role is largely textural—as it is throughout Kindred's 12 pieces and 50 minutes—his soft-malleted tom-toms and cymbal swells moving in concert with Nock's dynamically fluid performance.

These 2011 sessions were conceived as music-making without a safety net, and it's clear that Nock and Pike—separated by nearly 40 years—didn't need one. Still, these relatively brief free improvisations are all defined by an unmistakable and immediate sense of purpose. On "All Most Blues," Nock's left hand suggests the bass line to trumpeter Miles Davis' near-iconic "All Blues," from Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959), but staggered to the point where, when the duo does settles into a defined groove, it's only in passing. "Le Primitif" broaches similar territory, not unlike some of Keith Jarrett's solo work in feel but, with a partner in the proceedings, traveling to places Nock would not likely have gone, were he on his own.

If neither Nock nor Pike opt for overt virtuosity it's because neither needs to. Instead, much like the Sydney scene the pianist helped build, Kindred reflects the "wide range" which Nock finds so inspiring, and is yet another top-drawer recording from an elder jazz statesman continuing to repay, without compromise, the debts of his own formative years.

Track Listing: Kindred; Zeus' Dream; Le Primitif; Mike Battles the Hydra; By Sea; Sleepwalking; Spring; All Most Blues; The Old Times; Satori No Mado; Solstice; 4SL.

Personnel: Mike Nock: piano; Laurenz Pike: drum kit.

Title: Kindred | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: FWM Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Profiles
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Hear and Know

Hear and Know

FWM Records
2012

buy
Kindred

Kindred

FWM Records
2012

buy
Duologue

Duologue

Birdland Records
2007

buy
Meeting of the Waters

Meeting of the Waters

Jazzhead (Australia)
2007

buy
Open Door

Open Door

Ode Records
2006

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019
Read Rhyme And Reason Album Reviews
Rhyme And Reason
By Mark Corroto
February 21, 2019
Read The Definition of Insanity Album Reviews
The Definition of Insanity
By Nicholas F. Mondello
February 21, 2019
Read Omhu Album Reviews
Omhu
By Jakob Baekgaard
February 21, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Karl Ackermann
February 20, 2019
Read Gary Album Reviews
Gary
By Dan McClenaghan
February 20, 2019