9

Renku: Live In Greenwich Village

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Born in Israel, raised in Paris and the American Midwest, saxophonist Michael Attias has lived in NYC since 1994. But in spite of that lengthy sojourn, only relatively recently has Attias come to the fore. He might just have found his ideal vehicle in Renku. That's the name of the co-operative threesome rounded out by in demand bassist John Hébert and idiosyncratic drummer Satoshi Takeishi. The moniker derives from a collaborative style of Japanese poetry that balances freedom and rigor. And it proves an apt metaphor.

Live In Greenwich Village constitutes the band's third outing in a just over a decade's existence. Culled from two nights at Greenwich House Music School, the program comprises four pieces from the pen of Attias, two from Hébert, one from Takeishi and a cover of a tune by Paul Motian, a mentor for both the reedman and the bassist. An easy give and take characterizes the set, exemplified by the interplay that follows convoluted yet poised lines like "Tapstone" and "Dark Net." Their group sound hints at something larger than the reality, thanks to the way in which Attias' lightly floating intricacies dance with Hébert's grounded yet garrulous counterpoint and Takeishi's busy but tuneful percussion.

Although the route they take may not always be the most obvious, their choices are deliberate and considered, as wonderfully demonstrated by the slowly burning fuse of "Lurch," a spare dirge that forms one of the highlights. At the core lies a call and response between the composer's vocally inflected bow work and Attias' keening alto, abetted by Takeishi's processional drums which both lend a ritual feel and impart an insistent momentum. Hébert renders the drummer's "Soledad" unaccompanied, with a gravitas recalling Charlie Haden, while Attias extends his breezy extrapolations to trade in controlled distortion, especially in the smoldering "70s & 80s Remix" and "Goodbye Rumination" which is more demonstrative than the title might suggest and shapes a fitting conclusion to a tightly worked and engaging set.

Track Listing: Tapstone; Renku; The Sunflower; Lurch; Dark Net; Soledad; The Lions Of Cayuga; 70s & 80s Remix; Goodbye Rumination.

Personnel: Michaël Attias: alto saxophone; John Hébert: double bass; Satoshi Takeishi: drums.

Title: Live In Greenwich Village | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

About Michael Attias
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Watch

Shop for Music

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

Related

Read Hiding Out
Hiding Out
By Jack Bowers
Read Irrationalities
Irrationalities
By Mark Corroto
Read Cobb's Pocket
Cobb's Pocket
By Nicholas F. Mondello
Read Cobb's Pocket
Cobb's Pocket
By Dan Bilawsky
Read Blues For Charlie
Blues For Charlie
By Jim Worsley
Read Cause and Effect
Cause and Effect
By Ian Patterson
Read Geschmacksarbeit
Geschmacksarbeit
By John Eyles