358

Thomson Kneeland: Mazurka For A Modern Man

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Thomson Kneeland: Mazurka For A Modern Man It wouldn't be unusual to think that the mastermind behind Mazurka For A Modern Man played trumpet or guitar. While bassist Thomson Kneeland wrote eight of these compositions, which touch on everything from Balkan folk music and klezmer, to chamber music and indie rock, he often lurks in the background while guitarist Nate Radley and trumpeter David Smith paint intriguing pictures and create a deep, and occasionally dark, musical universe in the foreground. Kneeland, as demonstrated throughout this album, is clearly a man of many talents and he uses his diverse musical interests to shape each track to suit his musical vision.

A Masada-like, klezmer sound is present on the album-opening "Ashlayah." While Smith and alto saxophonist Loren Stillman take on the Dave Douglas and John Zorn roles here—and in a few other places on the album—Stillman is far less aggressive than Zorn often is and Radley's guitar adds a different dimension to the music. Two vastly different pieces on this album take their titles from Greek mythology. "Hyperion" is a trumpet-lead trip through a musical purgatory, with Radley setting the eerie mood, while "Dithyramb" is an Indian-influenced thrill ride with strong soloing from Stillman and Kneeland.

While the title track shows off Kneeland's strong attempt at infusing modernist jazz with a grunge-meets-emo vibe, he demonstrates a completely different side of his personality on "Moja Tesknota (For Deborah Zelazny)." This traditional Polish song—which is also the only track here that Kneeland didn't write—features strings and accordion, but the trumpet steals the show as it cries somber strains over the rest of the band. One of Kneeland's most introspective pieces of music is "Rhapsody (For Take Toriyama)," which was dedicated to the late drummer who performed on this album. The drummer, sadly, took his own life several weeks after the recording and this piece, along with the album as a whole, serves as a fitting tribute to Take Toriyama and his creative, musical spirit.


Track Listing: Ashlayah; Hyperion; Mazurka For A Modern Man; Dithyramb; Moja Tesknota (for Deborah Zelazny); Libretto; Nebuchadnezzar; Rhapsody (For Take Toriyama); Crus Bifurcatus.

Personnel: Thomson Kneeland: acoustic bass; Take Toriyama: drums and percussion; Nate Radley: guitar; David Smith: trumpet; Loren Stillman: alto saxophone (1, 4, 6, 9); Jerry Sabatini: trumpet (5); Evan Harlan: accordion (5); Eric Bindman: violin and viola (5); Mike Connors: drums (5).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Weltschmerz Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read "Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Happy
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Fake It Until You Make It" CD/LP/Track Review Fake It Until You Make It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Jojje Wadenius (70)" CD/LP/Track Review Jojje Wadenius (70)
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!