303

Gene Ess: Modes of Limited Transcendence

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Gene Ess: Modes of Limited Transcendence Guitarist Gene Ess put together a quartet with saxophonist Donny McCaslin for his Sandbox and Sanctum (SIMP Music, 2005) . On Modes of Limited Transcendence he ups the harmonic ingenuity factor with a different quartet, replacing the horn with a guitar, to craft an often cooking, quartet-of-equals chamber vibe.

Ess began his musical journey as a pianist, but left the eighty-eight keys for the six strings. His chording cohort on the set, pianist Tigran Hamasyan, comps behind the leader with a sparkling zest, mixes and melds harmonies with the leader, and takes his own vibrant solo spots. Bassist Harvie S and drummer Tyshawn Sorey round out the quartet, squaring off with Ess and Hamasyan in a seamless dance that swings or funks out or relaxes into cool grooves on the eight tunes.

Like Sandbox and Sanctum, Modes of Limited Transcendence is a listening experience best enjoyed as a whole, with its empathic four-way interplay and collective inspiration. ''Discovery in Three" features of pretty and pensive piano solo with a gathering mometmum in front of whispering cymbals, leading into a solo by Harvie S., the bass man stepping out front with Ess shimmering behind him. Ess takes his turn with an eloquent rumination punctuated by cymbals splashes, buoyed by a lively piano.

"Gagaku Dreams" drifts in on a deft bass line that teams up with an amorphous and otherworldly ensemble mode that captures the surreal aspect of dreaming. "The Art of Nothingness" has a floating momentum, and "Trance Chant" is hard edged and energetic.

There is a Japanese word, "Shukumei." It means, roughly translated, "the life you ought to have lived." With Modes of Limited Transcendence Gene Ess delves deeper into his "Sukumei," and creates the art he has to create.

Track Listing: Ryo's First Flight; Discovery in Three; Trance Chant; Art of Nothingness; Hero to Wizard; Messiaen Shuffle; Gagaku Dreams; Sufficient Reason.

Personnel: Gene Ess: guitar; Tigran Hamasyan: piano; Harvie S: bass; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: SIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Dare To Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare To Be
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Dharma
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Dancing Our Way To Death" CD/LP/Track Review Dancing Our Way To Death
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Intermission" CD/LP/Track Review Intermission
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "You'll Never Know" CD/LP/Track Review You'll Never Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 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!