174

Ben Schachter and Sung/Unsung: Nothingman

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Philadelphia-area saxophonist Ben Schachter plays a wide range of reed instruments extremely well, although his primary voice is the tenor saxophone. He's been influenced by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, yet his burly tenor sound is clearly his own, and his approach is both original and personal. If the music on his self-produced Nothingman is any indication, Schachter deserves to be much better known.

Sung/Unsung is the name of Schachter's current band, which pivots on the interplay between Schachter and guitarist Jef Lee Johnson. Schachter plays powerful, take-no-prisoners tenor sax, as well as showing a fetchingly lyrical side on soprano. Johnson's approach runs the gamut from restrained chordal strumming to full-out rockish distortion, and always appropriately. For example, on the free piece "Aged," Schachter's tenor practically bursts at the seams with feeling, and Johnson's wailing guitar, while assertive, is also supportive, never distracting from Schachter's fiery improvising.

Schachter recasts John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" in a rapid 6/4 tempo that also jumps into, then out of, a few bars of 4/4 in each chorus, and Schachter negotiates the tune's dizzying chord progressions with an explosive tenor solo that grabs the listener from the outset and never lets go. By contrast, Schachter's tenor invests his original ballad "'He So Beautiful': Emmett Wallace" with convincing warmth. On "Everyone's A Genius," Schachter and Johnson intertwine contrapuntally over a swinging rhythm. Two tunes unfold with off-kilter, hip funk beats, and "New Toy" features the leader's fine soprano sax work. The rhythm section is fully together. They are at the service of the music. They go where the music needs to go. With Nothingman , Ben Schachter has produced a top-shelf CD of modern jazz.


Track Listing: 1. Tribal Delusions 2. The Day the Happy Jazz Cried 3. Moment's Notice 4. Think, She Said (Melancholy) 5. Suddenly Sentient 6. Everyone's a Genius 7. He So Beautiful: Emmett Wallace 8. Queens Session Blues 9. New Toy 10. Nothingman 11. Aged

Personnel: Ben Schachter - reeds; Jef Lee Johnson - guitars; Matthew Parrish - bass; Craig McIver - drums

Title: Nothingman | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Ben-Jam Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Time for the Dancers" CD/LP/Track Review Time for the Dancers
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 30, 2017
Read "Takunde" CD/LP/Track Review Takunde
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren" CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Avant-Garde Party Music" CD/LP/Track Review Avant-Garde Party Music
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "The Company I Keep" CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Iberica" CD/LP/Track Review Iberica
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor