Thirteen musical episodessimultaneously stressing individual paths, duo rapport and trio interplaymake up New Brighton. Multi-reedist Domenic Landolf shows that he knows how to go out on a limb, creating challenging music, but he always balances the adventurous with the accessible. Stabilitywhether dealing with rhythm or melodyis the key factor here. One musician will often provide a stabilizing element that tethers the rest of the musicians to one another. These ideas don't always last for an entire pieceoften arriving after a minute or two or coming in and out of the musicbut they always help to provide steady ground to be built upon.
"Malstrom," which begins with some tom work from drummer Dejan Terzic, lives in an uncertain state until bassist Patrice Moret provides a firm bass/base line and then Terzic moves to a snare drum-based cadence. Likewise, zigzagging phrases are present at the top of the title track and the music only really gels when Terzic establishes a firmer groove. Once this happens, Landolf settles in and sounds terrific. When Landolf moves to fluteproviding some eerie three-note cells over vague ambience at the top of "Calling The Spirit"it's hard to know where things are going. Just when this one looks like it will float away, Moret is there again to lock things in.
While the above examples are an indication of the way Landolf's musical constructs are often held together, communication between musicians is what really keeps it interesting. The album-opening "Lehar" begins as a saxophone-centered piece with some glockenspiel work from Terzic and supportive bass work from Moret. As time goes on, bass and saxophone become more conversant and Terzic still remains in the background. Little by little, Terzic joins the conversation and becomes an equal partner andas a bonusMoret provides a terrific bass solo here. "W.E." is the most immediately impressive display of Landolf's abilities as a writer and saxophonist. His playing, whether working over Moret's instantly appealing bass line, moving in unison with Moret, or soloing, is hip as can be. Terzic's playing is equally pleasing but Landolf doesn't let it go there. After a couple minutes, the music starts to disintegrate...but then it comes back to life and continues its joyous journey.
As good as Landolf is on tenor saxophone, his bass clarinet work might be better. "Les Bouts Du Monde" is a beautiful display of musical intimacy between these three musicians and exceptional balance exists between bass and bass clarinet here. This is just one of many examples of the shared vision between Landolf, Moret and Terzic on New Brighton.
Track Listing: Lehar; Storm Chaser; Les Bouts Du Monde; W.E.; Calling The Spirits; Cho Oyu; Enchanted Beans; Fjord; Kululeka; Malstrom; New Brighton; The Beatles Go East; My Old Flame.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.