Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

341

Ben Schachter: Omnibus

Victor L. Schermer By

Sign in to view read count
Ben Schachter: Omnibus Saxophonist Ben Schachter is a jazz master, well known in the Philadelphia area and beyond. On this outstanding CD, he and his cohorts go beyond playing their instruments to creating works of art. Each piece forms a coherent composition where improvisations come close to sounding like the interpretation of a written score. Heartfelt yet profoundly intellectual, each consists of a fully developed means of expression while creating a mood—often a blue mood—all its own.



Schachter's opener, "Transparent," evokes a misterioso film noir sound, while much of the subsequent music defies classification. Schachter's "She Wept" fleshes out as a duet featuring Schachter with pianist Tom Lawton, evoking the feeling of listening to John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner on a ballad that combines with a sense of classical reverie, invoking rich modern expressions suggestive of Ravel and Poulenc.



"The Immortals: a Suite in Time"—three movements based respectively on Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge," John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," and Sonny Rollins' "Pent-Up House"—alludes to both the continuities and differences among these three legendary saxophonists, especially in the diverse ways they used rhythm, breaks and intervals in the flow of the sound. In the suite, three distinct meanings of "swing" emerge in Schachter's capable hands, with Leon Boykins displaying his brilliant and bouncing walking bass.



"Three-Ni: Variations on a Theme of Stravinsky" uses a 12-tone row from "Threni," one of the iconic Russian composer's later compositions, in a most unusual variation on a blues progression. In a feat of musical prestidigitation, in the end the piece plays out as an afterthought to a pleasant day, a coda to warmth and love. Lawton's pianism is stunningly beautiful, making rich use of pentatonic motifs that were the trademark of Debussy and other impressionist composers.



The remaining pieces on the album become more playful as they go along, in the multiple respects of fun, clever turns of phase, and complex musical phrasing. "Einstein Daydreamt," for instance, goes in and out of the diatonic scale the way Einstein's geometry bends space-time.



Omnibus combines the best features of a disciplined chamber music approach to the trio with elements of blues and swing, making for a true manifestation of the jazz idiom. With the capable assistance of Boykins, drummer Matt Scarano, and Lawton's supreme musical intelligence on two tracks, this CD successfully achieves a high level of musicality.


Track Listing: Transparent (For Steve Lacey); She Wept; The Immortals: a Suite in Time (Inner Urge; Giant Steps; Pent-Up House); Three-Ni: Variations on a Theme of Stravinsky; Think of One; Einstein Daydreamt; Bluesharp; Westward.

Personnel: Ben Schachter: saxophone; Leon Boykins: bass; Matt Scarano: drums; Tom Lawton: piano (2, 6).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Ben-Jam Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Joe Henderson Joe Henderson
sax, tenor
Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone
Billy Hart Billy Hart
drums
Tony Malaby Tony Malaby
sax, tenor
Antonio Hart Antonio Hart
saxophone
Andrew Neu Andrew Neu
saxophone
Alex Sipiagin Alex Sipiagin
trumpet

More Articles

Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "O Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review O Horizonte
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Gin Fizz Fandango" CD/LP/Track Review Gin Fizz Fandango
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "Mount Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Mount Meander
by John Sharpe
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "In Case Of Fire" CD/LP/Track Review In Case Of Fire
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 17, 2016
Read "Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!