270

Austin McMahon: Many Muses

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Austin McMahon: Many Muses New England area drummer/composer Austin McMahon's musicality breathes life and radiates a fresh approach to modern jazz, partly based on neo- classicism and multi-genre derivations here, on his debut as a leader. The artist communicates an abundance of interesting propositions and aims to entertain.

McMahon is a melody-maker and provides a buoyant pulse along with bassist Kendall Eddy. Clarinetist Alec Spiegelman is the primary soloist and works effectively with pianist Carmen Staaf, who combines lush romanticism with some muscle on various pieces that are engineered upon bop and quaintly arranged frameworks.

With frisky, up-tempo cadences, the clarinetist often generates a carefree aura during several works, yet the quartet skirts the free-zone on occasion. But it's the harmonious themes, contrasted by expansion, and contraction mechanisms that offer a nouveau setting. Many Muses serves as a fitting album title, despite the musicians maintaining a cohesive group-centric sound.

On "Sevilla," McMahon merges a sense of Spanish chivalry with traditional Jewish music that is firmly nestled within the progressive jazz schema, largely due to Spiegelman's edgy soloing. However, the overall muse changes via a dirge motif, heard on "Proof," driven home by Staaf's lower register block chord progressions and Spiegelman's whispery lines.

As stated on his homepage, McMahon has been sought out for his work as a composer for documentary films, and listening to this album it is easy to discern why. He imparts a prismatic outlook into his compositions, marked by memorable themes, and the soloists' intense exchanges. The quartet profoundly merges many muses into a clear-sighted and highly listenable program.


Track Listing: Vidrio; Platone; Part 1; I.O.U.; Elephant Walk; Not As It Seems; Strife; Sevilla; Don't Know Yet; Proof; Platone (Reprise); After Paris.

Personnel: Austin McMahon: drums, melodica, percussion; Alec Spiegelman: clarinet, bass clarinet; Carmen Staaf: piano, accordion, Fender Rhodes; Kendall Eddy: bass.

Title: Many Muses | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Fractamodi.com


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Soulmation" CD/LP/Track Review Soulmation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Alfa" CD/LP/Track Review Alfa
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Trillium Falls" CD/LP/Track Review Trillium Falls
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Hank Mobley" CD/LP/Track Review Hank Mobley
by Greg Simmons
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Of The Musical" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Musical
by Paul Naser
Published: December 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.