All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
New Directions could signify a paradigm shift for alto saxophonist Travis Sullivan's eighteen-piece Björkestra, a unit dedicated to performing arrangements of Icelandic pop vocalist Björk. Sullivan goes back to his fundamental mainstream jazz roots on the lyrically rich New Directions, assembled with memorable comps and sterling interplay from his quartet. Sullivan's vocal-like tonalities and muscular alto work casts an acoustic game plan that often yields electrifying results.
Sullivan generates memorable compositions while injecting a spirited aura into the program, making "Tuneology" serve as a fitting analogy for his sensitized approach via a brisk, tight-knit bop groove, interspersed with drummer Brian Fishler's snappy Latin beats. Sullivan's fluent phraseology is wrapped into a full-bodied sound amid his cunning improvisational segments while the rhythm section sizzles, complemented by pianist Mike Eckroth, who dances around the primary theme.
The quartet reaches for the stars on "Tuneology." With memorable licks and gravitating performances, the music attains a higher level of interest, countering the influx of post-bop modernism that sometimes moves forward without much traction or significance. Sullivan abides by a qualitative musical ethic on New Directions.
Personnel: Travis Sullivan: alto saxophone; Mike Eckroth: piano; Marco Panascia: bass; Brian Fishler: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.