All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

358

Thomson Kneeland: Mazurka For A Modern Man

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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).

Title: Mazurka For A Modern Man | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Weltschmerz Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Exotica" CD/LP/Track Review Exotica
by Chris May
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "Sonic Fiction" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Fiction
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "The Bug" CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "20" CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018