All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

250

Chris Laurence Quartet: New View

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist Chris Laurence, nearing sixty, has been a fixture on the British scene for many years, working regularly in the jazz sphere with artists including reedman John Surman, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and pianist John Taylor. He's recorded pop sessions with the likes of Elvis Costello, Sting and David Gilmour, and remains active in the classical community, playing on orchestral film soundtracks including The Constant Gardener and The Man in the Iron Mask.

New View is Laurence's long-overdue debut as a leader. With a lineup featuring vibraphonist Frank Ricotti, guitarist John Parricelli and drummer Martin France, comparisons to late 1960s-early 1970s Gary Burton are to be expected. And with tracks like Surman's "Going for a Burton," it's clear that's exactly what Laurence has in mind.

The references are many, including opening the disc with longtime Burton collaborator/bassist Steve Swallow's "Falling Grace." However, unlike Swallow, who switched exclusively to electric bass in the early 1970s, Laurence's allegiance remains with the acoustic variety. His warm, rounded tone states the theme to Swallow's classic over a rubato wash of color from Ricotti, but when France and Parricelli enter, the gentle but interactive pulse that has defined his work is in clear evidence.

Laurence's group is notable for the acclaim each member has in Britain, while not yet achieving deserved acclaim in North America. Whether it's the clean electric tone of his work on "Falling Grace," the distorted edge of his own buoyant 5/4 "Scrim" or his classical guitar work on Wheeler's melancholy ballad "Where Do We Go From Here?" (also featuring a beautiful arco intro by Laurence), Parricelli is a musical chameleon who paradoxically retains his personality. Like Parricelli, Ricotti is a player who leans towards spare interpretation, abstract coloration and a lyrical approach to soloing.

France is another shape shifter who can transform a delicate piece like Stan Sulzmann's "Jack Stix," giving it just the right hint of force and purposeful tension and release. His lone solo on "Going for a Burton" is a combination of potent force and strong construction, while he's in perfect synch on Wheeler's tango-esque "Sly Eyes. Vocalist Norma Winstone guests on the characteristically harmonic ambiguity of Joni Mitchell's "Last Chance Lost" and the bass pattern-driven "Canter," another Wheeler tune that features a less idiosyncratic but nevertheless Frisell-like solo from Parricelli.

Laurence is clearly a democratic leader, but what he brings to New View, in addition to an astute choice of band mates and material, is an homage to Burton's guitar-based groups that transcends mere mimicry. It's a fine debut and one that will hopefully be the start of a somewhat late-in-life solo career.


Track Listing: Falling Grace; Scrim; Jack Stix; Where Do We Go From Here? Canter; Mintro; Chappaqua; Going for a Burton; Sly Eyes; Last Chance Lost; Between Moons.

Personnel: Chris Laurence: bass; Frank Ricotti: vibraphone; John Parricelli: electric and acoustic guitars; Martin France: drums; Norma Winstone: vocals (5, 10).

Title: New View | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Basho Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Master of the Game

Hollywood & Highland Summer Jazz Concert Series
2009

buy
New View

New View

Basho Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Starebaby" CD/LP/Track Review Starebaby
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Stolen Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Suite Theory" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Theory
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "Backstage Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Backstage Pass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Music From An Imaginary Land" CD/LP/Track Review Music From An Imaginary Land
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 14, 2017