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In the liners to Little Bluedevil (Blue Rider Suite, Vol. 2), bassist Bill Noertker provides insight into his penchant for gleaning inspiration from visual artists and extending the Germany-based Blue Rider Movement that was formed in 1911 by artists, armed with disparate creative ideologies. Noertker's compositions derive inferences from nouveau classical concepts, dance, minimalism, mainstream jazz, bop and often propose theatrical attributes. As a bassist, he becomes deeply involved in the mechanics, coming from nearly all conceivable angles.
Noertker pays homage to the Roman moon goddess on the aptly titled "Diana." One of two works throughout the program that straddle mainstream jazz, it's a medium-tempo ballad, featuring Annelise Zamula's whispery flute work. Here, Noertker lays out a gentle bass ostinato, leading to a sublime melody where he harmonizes with Zamula and pianist Jenny Maybee; a three-way contrast ensues, spanning lower to upper register parts and sets the stage for a multi-textured motif that is a bit sweet, but not too sugary.
Each composition and mode of execution on this album tenders a diametrically opposed vibe that is stitched together in unified fashion. Noertker's uncanny means of tying in various modalities and ideologies spark a win-win situation, when considering the sum of the interconnecting parts.
Personnel: Bill Noertker: contrabass; Jenny Maybee: piano; Annelise Zamula: flute; Jason Levis: drums.