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.

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read URBAN(E)
URBAN(E)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra
Read All Figured Out
All Figured Out
Derek Brown and The Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.