286

Claire DeBrunner / Ken Silverman / Daniel Carter / Tom Zlabinger: Macroscopia

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Claire DeBrunner / Ken Silverman / Daniel Carter / Tom Zlabinger: Macroscopia Multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter may be the best known constituent part of NYC collective quartet Macroscopia, but based on its eponymous debut, he's not the only reason to listen. Although the bassoon hasn't figured largely in jazz history to date, an increasing number of able modern practitioners specializing in the large double reed woodwind seek to change that, including Sara Schoenbeck, and Katherine Young. Now, to that company, the name Claire DeBrunner must be added: her agile playing is one of the strengths of this disc. Classically trained DeBrunner discovered the Downtown scene in the '80s, and studied with saxophonist Lee Konitz and pianist Connie Crothers before becoming active in free improvisation.

With guitarist Ken Silverman and bassist Tom Zlabinger completing the foursome, the absence of drums becomes another feature setting Macroscopia apart. Without that explicit drive the default position tends towards mid-tempo impressionistic invention, loosely melodic and cohering around natural consonances. Carter is a veteran of this style, having paid his dues with the stellar Other Dimensions in Music and the combustive TEST, but he proves a generous collaborator, never seeking to overwhelm with fire music. His choice of instrument, from an arsenal featuring trumpet, alto and tenor saxophones, becomes one of the factors which distinguish between the seven cuts on this 53-minute program.

Zlabinger's bass takes a largely supporting role, but otherwise there are no leaders and followers, amid the plethora of responsive though restrained interplay, with space for everyone to stretch out. DeBrunner is garrulous but handy with an alluring phrase, which contrasts well with Carter's abstract bluesy lyricism. Silverman exploits a break on "Dumbo Twilight" to demonstrate his chops, before later engaging in pungent colloquy with Carter's dreamy trumpet.

On "Life Rattle" Silverman's shuffling percussion results in one of the disc's most animated tracks, following that up on guitar with a series of bright runs piercing the shimmering reeds. It's not until the final "Totem Dance" that Carter turns more directive, his insistent rhythmic figures prompting funky bass and guitar over which the horns pontificate, before downsizing for a droning conclusion. Like many of the pieces this track fades out, leading to a lack of resolution. But that's a minor complaint given the novel textures encountered on the journey.

Track Listing: Opening; Mysterious Breath; Dumbo Twilight; Riff Tide; Life Rattle; To Move as a Shadow; Totem Dance.

Personnel: Claire DeBrunner: bassoon; Daniel Carter: trumpet, alto and tenor saxophones; Ken Silverman: oud, guitar, hand percussion; Tom Zlabinger: bass.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Metier


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter...
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Cross My Palm With Silver" CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Cultural Capital" CD/LP/Track Review Cultural Capital
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 4, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!