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Yoni Kretzmer's New Dilemma: Months, Weeks and Days

Glenn Astarita By

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Tenor saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer is not one to rest on his laurels or pursue straight and narrow musical paths as his discography consists of various ensemble configurations and objectives. With this hybrid chamber jazz and improvisation-based sextet, the musicians interpret the leader's compositions, structures and outlines via improvisational means.

The ensemble delves into the experimental scheme of things, although these pieces do project semi-structured vibes, topped with gradual buildups, streaming strings passages and elongated unison choruses. Along with expand and contract processes there are often multiple dialogues taking place at various intervals. Kretzmer's upper-register vibrato techniques and gruff exhortations add a dramatic and emotive edge, generating a sensibility that danger is in the air. It's a theme that may or may not parallel the compositional titles, alluding to random days, weeks and years.

On "Friday May 13," estimable bassist Pascal Niggenkemper's dense arco lines set the stage for a desolate panorama followed by Kretzmer and bass clarinetist Josh Sinton's moody parts as they paint an extended melody within a layered schematic, offering a semblance of great depth. Hence, the musicians' expressive articulations provide a storyboard of occurrences and reflections, amid the bassist and bass clarinetist's fluent undertones that secure a moveable bottom-end. But "June 20th" poses a dour outlook due to cellist Christopher Hoffman and violaist Frantz Loriot's droning lines, leading to unison motifs; drummer Flin Van Hammen's crashing drums and Kretzmer's circular patterns, instilling abundant contrasts and countering exchanges.

The septet offers a sense of adventure on this 2-CD set. And from a free or experimental standpoint, many of the passages and movements provide tangible thematic statements no matter how fleeting or concrete they may appear to be. Nonetheless, Kretzmer is an electrifying performer who invokes the element of surprise on a recurring basis.

Track Listing: CD 1 - Sunday Oct 12th; March 14th; Dec 3rd/4th; Friday May 13th; June 20th. CD 2 - June 14th; November 27th - Dec 1st; Jan 19th 2015; Tishma.

Personnel: Yoni Kretzmer: tenor sax; Frantz Loriot: viola; Christopher Hoffman: cello; Josh Sinton: bass clarinet; Pascal Niggenkemper: double bass; Flin Van Hemmen: drums.

Title: Months, Weeks and Days | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: OutNow Recordings

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