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Ned Rothenberg's Sync Tonic New York, New York February 8, 2007
When musician-producer John Zorn proposed recording for his Tzadik label's Radical Jewish Culture series, multi-reedist Ned Rothenberg was hesitant at first. Not one to force inspiration, he let the idea marinate for several years. It surfaced as he composed for a planned incorporation of cellist Erik Friedlander and violinist Mark Feldman with his trio Sync, which includes bassist/guitarist Jerome Harris and tablaist Samir Chatterjee in addition to Rothenberg's woodwinds. Though the group doesn't rely on overt Jewish scales and melodies, these are woven into the rich aural tapestry of the music of Inner Diaspora, a composition reflecting Rothenberg's thoughts on identity. The work is highly original and intensely personal, drawing from a breadth of stylistic influences. The East- meets-West paradigm suggested by Chatterjee's melodically rhythmic tabla and Rothenberg's occasional Japanese shakuhachi, juxtaposed with the strings and reeds, seeks the consonance between the sounds and instruments of diverse traditions.
The pronounced fluidity of the composition was highlighted during a February 8, 2007 performance at New York's Tonic. A pizzicato cello or bass clarinet might pick up the bass line, or the violin would double or continue a clarinet's melodic line, allowing greater flexibility in the arrangements. The improvisations flowed from and were informed by the composed sections so that even the wildest extrapolations were tethered to the written music.
Retaining the CD's sequence, the show opened with the crisp groove of tabla and acoustic bass guitar on "Keyn Eynhore. Rothenberg's clarinet swirled in a semi-call and response with unison violin and cello, before Feldman took the first of many dazzling solos. A transitional pizzicato part sprang Friedlander, who soon mixed in with his initial pizzicato statement some bowing for textural contrast.
The haunting wisps of the bamboo flute blended with Harris' lap steel and the rubbed and scraped strings of violin and cello to bring to life the subtle airiness of "Minutia," the extended sonic coloring a departure from the soaring lyricism of other pieces. "Fantzayor was built around a long repeating phrase that displayed Rothenberg's circular-breathing mastery on alto sax. Chattering tabla supported staccato punctuations that jumped out-of-phase between the other musicians on "Gilgulim. The lines gradually grew longer, coalescing in a bold unison statement of the theme, reenacting the process by which Rothenberg's Inner Diaspora first took shape and found expression in this music.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com