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Few modern era instrumentalists sojourn into uncharted regions of the musical cosmos with the ingenuity of bassist extraordinaire Joelle Leandre. Supported by her vast discography as a leader and co-conspirator, Léandre's serious intentions are differentiated by a sincere vision and jubilant demeanor. These attributes repeatedly surface on her recordings. This release is a two-CD gala that presents stark contrasts, given the tentet and trio groupings. Recorded live in Austria on successive dates, the respective programs convey more emotive aspects and nuances than reasonably imaginable.
On the first CD, the fifty-three minute work Can You Hear Me is a tentet performance, based upon a horns and strings brew. It is one continuous piece that begins with an instrumental warm-up that elicits notions of starting from scratch while evolving into a multidimensional foray, steeped in improvisation and structure. The tentet spans creaky, gravelly, and finely-honed strings to traces of minimalism amid brash soloing by the hornists. The band picks up steam and intersperses avant-classical frameworks into highly expressionistic jazz treatments. The theme-building exercises sometimes morph into microtonal interludes, spiced with humor and an entertaining blend of austerity and lightheartedness. With off-kilter time signatures and bursting unison choruses, the tentet transparently fuses unorthodoxy into an aggregation of subplots and 360 degree paradigm shifts. Storylines come to fruition then occasionally drift into an eternal abyss.
Percussionist Kevin Norton reappears on the second CD as pianist John Tilbury rounds out the trio with Léandre on bass. It's an extended work that serves as a distinct opposite to the tentet outing. On this piece, the musicians delve deep into introspective musings, filled with ethereal qualities and a myriad of tonal shadings. They produce elongated phrasings via a resonating stance, complemented by Norton's colorific cymbal shadings and intricate vibes work. Marked by nimble interactions and poignant soloing, they spawn a clairvoyant vista to supplement a few of the more playful excursions.
Live at the Ulrichsberg Kaleidophon is an encyclopedic study in contrasts, textures and incongruent elements derived from life's circumstances. Thus, Léandre's cunning and boundary-less metrics provide a feast for the mind's eye.
Track Listing: CD1: Tentet--Can You Hear Me? CD2: Trio.
Personnel: Joelle Leandre: double-bass; Kevin Norton: vibes, percussion; Susanna Gartmayer: alto saxophone, bass clarinet (CD1); Boris Hauf tenor saxophone, clarinet (CD1); Lorenz Raab: trumpet (CD1); Bertl Mutter: trombone (CD1); Thomas Wally: violin (CD1); Burkhard Stangl: electric guitar (CD1); Elaine Koene: viola (CD1); Melissa Coleman-Zielasko: cello (CD1); John Tilbury: piano (CD2).
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.