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...

21

Michael Vlatkovich: Mortality

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Esteemed West Coast trombonist Michael Vlatkovich's second release with the large ensemble outfit Ensemblio, features a cast of largely, So. California artists including tuba performer Bill Roper and keyboardist Wayne Peet, who is also credited with the engineering duties on this pristinely recorded studio set. Nonetheless, Vlatkovich tosses more than just a few curveballs into the mix.

The ensemble frequently subdivides into smaller factions during mini-motifs, but the program is an off-centered case study when considering how numerous genres are merged into avant-garde or customary modern jazz frameworks along with the ever-present improvisational quotient. Whether it's Tom McNalley lashing out with a fusoid guitar solo or percussionist Ken Park steering an Afro-Cuban interlude, Vlatkovich also intersperses Zappa-like horns arrangements with brief nouveau classical passages. Moreover, Carol Sawyer's wordless vocals and harmonizing efforts also serve as an additional instrument.

Diversity and a flock of dynamics emphasize many of these pieces. For example, "As quickly as it came," sounds like it could be an exaggeration (spoof) of an old time Broadway musical, topped off by Sawyer's chorale type overlays. But "Sometimes a red nose and big shoes aren't enough," is a pumping jazz rocker via succinct horns and ballsy choruses, streaked with oddball overtones. Yet the piece is built around Park's extended drum soloing—executed in classic big band fashion where the musicians proverbially give the 'drummer some' by pushing and prodding him during his polyrhythmic jaunts. Otherwise "Hiding out as a verb," contains a touch of chamber jazz and a forum for trumpeter Dan Clucas to stretch out, nicely augmented by Peet's lush piano phrasings and the band's playful call and response maneuvers. Although "Goodbye," is modeled with a mini-big band mindset, devised with shuffling grooves, thrusting horns and odd-metered time signatures.

Overall, there's a lot to digest. However, the ensemble keeps this energized aural feast going with an uncanny mode of attack by bridging certain mainstream jazz processes into an ultra-modern exposition, complete with hearty improvisational segments and off-kilter detours amid a production that delivers good cheer throughout.

Track Listing: Adeptly disguised as chairs and tables the audience listened quietly; As quickly as it came; Or do you have change for a $20?; Out of the wall and into the night; Sometimes a red nose and big shoes aren't enough; Mortality; Hiding out as a verb; Goodbye.

Personnel: Michael Vlatkovich: trombone; Dan Clucas: trumpet; Jill Torberson: French horn; Bill Plake: tenor sax; David Riddles: bassoon, flute, soprano sax, clarinet; Andrew Pask: alto and bari saxophones, bass clarinet; Bill Roper: tuba, bombardondino; Harry Scorzo: violin; Jonathan Golove: cello; Tom McNalley: electric guitar; Dominic Genova: bass; Wayne Peet: piano, keyboards; Carol Sawyer: voice; Ken Park: drums, mallet percussion, all other percussion.

Title: Mortality | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: pfMentum

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read East Of The River Nile Album Reviews
East Of The River Nile
By Chris May
February 23, 2019
Read VOX Album Reviews
VOX
By Friedrich Kunzmann
February 23, 2019
Read live@ZKM Album Reviews
live@ZKM
By Bruce Lindsay
February 23, 2019
Read cinder: ember: ashes Album Reviews
cinder: ember: ashes
By Glenn Astarita
February 23, 2019
Read Amour Album Reviews
Amour
By Doug Collette
February 23, 2019
Read Friendly Signs Album Reviews
Friendly Signs
By Don Phipps
February 22, 2019
Read The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes Album Reviews
The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes
By Roger Farbey
February 22, 2019