490

Andy Sheppard: Movements in Colour

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Andy Sheppard: Movements in Colour Familiar to ECM fans for his work with Carla Bley including the small group The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu (WATT, 2007) and large ensemble Appearing Nightly (WATT, 2008), Andy Sheppard has also proven comfortable in ultra ultra large ensembles like the 200 saxophone strong Saxophone Massive that he led at Mai Jazz 2008 in Stavanger, Norway. Earlier work with Bley—and his sublime duet disc with guitarist John Parricelli, P.S. (Provocateur, 2003)—demonstrated the British saxophonist's ability to fit seamlessly within a larger context and perform as featured soloist and egalitarian equal. None of these past works, however, were sufficient preparation for the buoyantly optimistic and relentlessly lyrical Movements in Colour.

Sheppard has assembled an unusual quintet for his ECM debut as a leader. Parricelli, with whom Sheppard works regularly, is a strong foil for the saxophonist's unmistakable elegance, as he winds his way through Sheppard's cross-cultural compositional blend of folkloric elements from India, Latin America, and Africa. Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset is also on hand, providing his characteristically un-guitaristic textures, albeit sometimes so buried in the mix as to be felt more than heard. Fellow Norwegian Arild Andersen has been a mainstay of the label since its inception, a member of the first wave of Norwegian musicians brought to international attention by the label in the early '70s. Virtuosic and muscular, yet equally capable of the deep melodism required by Sheppard's writing, the bassist is a perfect combination of rhythmic anchor and solo voice, rivaled only by Swedish bassist Anders Jormin in his ability to make his instrument truly sing. Tablaist Kuljit Bhamra may be the new face here, though he's worked with Sheppard before, and so with an augmented percussion set-up including cymbals, snare drum and more, he adds a deeper ethnic flavor to the music, providing greater distinction to Sheppard's seven original compositions.

When Sheppard plays soprano saxophone, as he does on the rhythmically propulsive and harmonically ambiguous but gradually coalescing "Nave Nave Moe," there's some resemblance to Oregon, albeit with Parricelli's voicings more direct than those of Oregon co-founder/guitarist Ralph Towner. With both Andersen and, in particular, Aarset creating warm cushions of processed sound, the group takes "Bing," beginning in linear Indian fashion based around a simple pedal tone, ultimately morphing it into a more Western-centric series of changes. "Ballarina," on the other hand, is a dark ballad, one of the few to feature Aarset at the forefront, easily identifiable as he is in the left channel, with Parricelli on the right.

Sheppard's approach here is one of unostentatious, spare thematizing. There's precious little hard- blowing, though spontaneous interaction is clearly the order of the day. One of ECM's most eminently accessible records, Movements in Colour demonstrates the beauty of simplicity, the appeal of modesty. It's deceptively difficult to create music that speaks on a broad, elemental level, and with Movements in Colour Sheppard has succeeded in creating an album of unassuming richness in texture, color and melodic depth.


Track Listing: La Tristess Du Roi; Bing; Nave Nave Moe; Ballarina; May Song; We Shall Not Go To Market Today; International Blue.

Personnel: Andy Sheppard: soprano and tenor saxophone; John Parricelli: acoustic and electric guitars; Eivind Aarset: electric guitar, electronics; Arild Andersen: double-bass, electronics; Kuljit Bhamra: tabla, percussion.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Conversations About Not Eating Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Conversations About Not Eating Meat
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Seeing Is Believing" CD/LP/Track Review Seeing Is Believing
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Troy Collins
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Mediterrana" CD/LP/Track Review Mediterrana
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Infinite Spirit - Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band" CD/LP/Track Review Infinite Spirit - Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!

Buy it!