"Notice something other than the 'expected' other: a question not marked as such..."
So advises Daniel Carter on this, the first full-length recording of his multi-instrumental self with the Boston-based Saturnalia String Trio. Unlike many collective improvisation projects, Meditations on Unity thrives on the space between the notes, and the limitless harmonic possibilities of overtones. Jonathan LaMaster's Saturnalia explores the darkness of sound, the shady boundaries between modern classical and freely improvised music.
New York's Carter adds a pinch of brightness, a smatter of unpredictability, and his usual angular harmonic vision. Surprisingly, although the tunes on this record were recorded at eight different locations (both live and in the studio), they maintain a coherent sense of continuity regardless. To these ears, the combination of strings and horn presents a satisfying alternative to the usual horns-bass-drums combination found in free improvisation. Though somewhat underdocumented at this point, the Saturnalia String Trio plays with the confidence and synergy of any mature free jazz group. Hopefully we'll have a chance to hear more music from them, as well as projects along the lines of this Boston-New York collaboration.
Track Listing: What Kind of Jazz?; 3 for One; Aspirations; Repose; Spontaneous Contagion; Reverie; Ekstasis; 3 for Two;
Release; 3 for All; Juggernaut; Visions of Unity.
Personnel: Jonathan LaMaster: violin, electronics; Vic Rawlings: prepared cello, sarangi, and electronics; Mike Bullock: bass; Daniel Carter: saxophones, clarinet, flute, and trumpet; Matthew Heyner: bass.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.