265

Jeremy Noller: Music Notes

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Jeremy Noller: Music Notes What do Illinois and West Africa have in common? More than is apparent, at first glance. Originally from Libertyville, Illinois, drummer Jeremy Noller has studied with the great saxophonist Bunky Green, traveled and performed abroad, and gigged in New York since 2003. An educator whose influences include Wayne Shorter, Noller is also a student of the traditional drumming music of Guinea, West Africa. These experiences inform Music Notes , a worthwhile excursion into music with ebullient rhythms and heartwarming melodies.

The nine pieces interweave folkloric melodies and popular music with the fragrance of performers such Angelique Kidjo and jazz guitarist Lionel Loueke. What makes Noller's debut equally impressive are not just his percussion skills, but his knowledge of the music and the spirit that's articulated by his talented band: the idiomatic expression of the acoustic guitar, performed superbly by Jesse Lewis; the saxophone's phrasing, never overplayed, by Brian VanArsdale; and the underpinning jazz rhythms by Noller and The Wee Trio bassist Dan Loomis, which form the foundation. Add enticing percussion and danceable melodies, and this is music that quickens the senses.

Lewis' incisive plucks and chords usher in "We Go," which includes a percussion jam—with Noller, Sam Bathric on shekere, and Mangue Sylla on djembe—that is later stated more intensely in "Percussion Interlude." VanArsdale's tenor has a deceptive muffled quality that livens with soulful fire in "On The Is" and "Dawe," while Loomis offers a deep solo in "Soliba." In each case, the musicians communicate the beauty of West Africa.

A blues stands proud in "Don't be Scurred," where VanArsdale's parched horn speaks of Thelonious Monk's longtime saxophonist Charlie Rouse, and jazz swings true in Noller's remake of the title track to Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil (Blue Note, 1967). The band cooks it; a fine way to conclude the set with its "straight, no chaser" kind of swagger. But it's no surprise because Noller is a true jazz man—whether by way of Libertyville, the music of West Africa, or the spirit of 52nd street.


Track Listing: We Go; On The Is; Soliba; Dawe; Percussion Interlude; Don't Be Scurred; Music Notes; Small Arms; Speak No Evil.

Personnel: Jeremy Noller: drums, gyil (7); Dan Loomis: acoustic bass; Jesse Lewis: acoustic guitar; Brian VanArsdale: tenor saxophone; Sam Bathrick: shekere (1, 7), gome (5, 7); Mangue Sylla: djembe (1), sangban (5).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: African Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Live at the JazzRoom" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the JazzRoom
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 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!

Buy it!