Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

564

Larry Ochs: The Celestial Septet & We All Feel The Same Way

By

Sign in to view read count








ROVA Sax Quartet/Nels Cline Singers

The Celestial Septet

New World Records

2010


Jones Jones

We All Feel The Same Way

SoLyd

2010


The synchronicity and boundless energy that separate great groupwork from everything else pervades these two new additions to multi-instrumentalist and composer Larry Ochs' already formidable discography. He has always negotiated the permeable boundaries between improvisation and composition with consummate skill and these two new group projects are no exception.

Think of The Celestial Septet as a union of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet and the Nels Cline Singers; yet, the collective sound belongs to neither aggregate, so diverse is each group's long-fostered identity. The merger's completeness can be gauged from the opening modal swells and beautiful harmonies of "Caesar Chavez," a track originally appearing on drummer Scott Amendola's Believe (Cryptogramophone). Here, it's an astonishing display of orchestral complexity and group communication. Listen to the subtle polyrhythms that Amendola and bassist Devin Hoff lay down, supporting intertwined interjections from the saxophones (Ochs, Bruce Ackley, Jon Raskin and Steve Adams) and Cline's usual timbral unpredictability on guitar. The piece unfolds with glacial inexorability and increased decibel levels before subsiding back into the gorgeous drone that began it. This multifaceted approach is perfect to realize Ochs' mutable compositional vision, as made manifest in the epic and moving "Who's to know." Dedicated to Albert Ayler, the patriarchal saxophonist's flowing lines, pentatonic sonorities and searing intensity vie for prominence in this 25-minute journey through countless emotive states. Ochs leaves plenty of space for individual expression, but there is a sense of guidance throughout as sustained harmonies root, blur and dissolve.

Jones Jones is a relatively new trio formed in 2006 with veteran musicians Mark Dresser (bass) and Vladimir Tarasov (percussion). We All Feel The Same Way's high-energy recordings were taken from two improvised concerts in June 2008, one at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam and the other in St. Petersburg, Russia, but the group interplay is at a consistently high level. Right from note one, the music can stop on a dime with the same frequency as it plumbs timbral depths. All play wonderfully, as might be expected, but Dresser's rapid-fire bowings and buzzed multiphonic staccatos are stunning. Despite being an often wild ride, some of the best moments involve the group's more introspective ruminations; sample the beginning of "Microtonal Miss Jones" where Tarasov and Dresser engage in a percussive dialogue as Ochs' multiphonic sopranino renders the title apt before hell breaks loose.

Both discs are recorded well, with lots of room environment apparent on We All Feel The Same Way, enhancing the live feel. Both demonstrate grit, contrast and sophistication appropriate to the music and are highly recommended.

Tracks and Personnel



The Celestial Septet

Tracks: Cesar Chávez; Trouble Ticket; Whose to Know (for Albert Ayler); Head Count; The Buried Quilt.

Personnel: Bruce Ackley: soprano and tenor saxophones; Steve Adams, alto and sopranino saxophones; Scott Amendola: drums; Nels Cline: guitar; Devin Hoff: bass; Larry Ochs: tenor and sopranino saxophones; Jon Raskin: baritone, alto and sopranino saxophones.



We All Feel The Same Way

Tracks: In Jones we Trust; Type Jones Positive; Jones Zones; Have you met Miss Microtonal Jones?; We All Feel the Same Way.

Personnel: Larry Ochs: saxophones; Mark Dresser: basses; Vladimir Tarasov: percussion.

Shop

More Articles

Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read Pi Recordings 2016 Releases Multiple Reviews Pi Recordings 2016 Releases
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 24, 2016
Read Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad Multiple Reviews Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!