8

Touch and Go Sextet: Live at the Novara Jazz Festival

Robert Bush By

Sign in to view read count
Touch and Go Sextet: Live at the Novara Jazz Festival Drummer Vijay Anderson formed the Touch and Go Sextet in the Bay Area as a vehicle for performing and interpreting the works of visiting musicians, but his concurrent studies with alto sax legend Roscoe Mitchell gave him the confidence to steer this three-reed, one trumpet and double-bass ensemble into original compositions, the results of which are clearly realized on Live at the Novara Jazz Festival.

On "Slippin,'" the horns wrap around each other like snakes in mating season, with simultaneous soloing and orbital interplay over bassist Lisa Mezzacappa's powerful ostinato. Clarinetist Ben Goldberg and trumpeter Darren Johnston contribute memorable vignettes. Tenor saxophonist Aaron Bennett explodes with some stuttering Albert Ayler eruptions on "Horripilation," over ominous unisons while Anderson stokes martial cadences up to a violent fever.

Sheldon Brown's bass clarinet and Bennett's bari weave a dark tapestry on "Waldron," while Goldberg and Johnston dart with squirrely filigree until the clarinetist bursts free with a stunning bit of Klezmerish, whinnying freedom.

Over atmospheric cymbal washes and moaning arco, Brown's alto wiggles and strains on the intro to "Delusions," a dark dirge that blossoms into a yearning feature for Goldberg, and a series of through-composed, gorgeous melodies. Anderson's storytelling drum scene opens "Swift House," each stroke and roll leaving an indelible timbral footprint, which eventually triggers an ecstatic scattershot theme that swirls with energy on the Anthony Braxton level. Brown rides the bucking bronco before Goldberg's entry downshifts into a brilliant a cappella episode. Then it's Johnston, sounding a buzzing drone more hornet's nest than trumpet, branching out on a fat, blustery journey that grafts Lester Bowie's warble with Freddie Hubbard's velocity.

Mezzacappa's laconic soliloquy—filled with rubbery glissandi, hammer-ons and turgid whole notes leads off the seventeen minute closing trilogy "Last Kiss/ Dimond Park/ Degrees of Gray," and her malevolent arco sparks extended workouts for Johnston, Goldberg, and the horns, en masse, all cranked into a delirious agitation by the roiling percussion of the leader.

Free-wheeling and as fresh as next-week's newspaper, Live at the Novara Jazz Festival strikes a fine balance between the kinetic and the cerebral and is worth seeking out.

Track Listing: Slippin'; Horripilation; Waldron; Delusions; Swift Horse; The Last Good Kiss/ Dimond Park/ Degrees of Gray.

Personnel: Vijay Anderson: drums; Aaron Bennett: tenor, baritone saxophone; Sheldon Brown: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Ben Goldberg: clarinet; Darren Johnston: trumpet; Lisa Mezzacappa: bass.

Title: Live at the Novara Jazz Festival | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Nine Winds Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "New Birth" CD/LP/Track Review New Birth
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Brass Mask Live" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Mask Live
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "Liquid Melodies" CD/LP/Track Review Liquid Melodies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Live From Jazz at the Bistro" CD/LP/Track Review Live From Jazz at the Bistro
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "New Focus On Song" CD/LP/Track Review New Focus On Song
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Mass" CD/LP/Track Review Mass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 2, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.