197

Herculaneum: Orange Blossom

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Herculaneum: Orange Blossom The excellence that marks 482 Music's Document Chicago series carries on with this twelfth release. As before, the series serves to showcase the diverse talent that marks the improvised jazz scene in Chicago; Herculaneum brings in its own influences, which it shapes into an earthy, heated and prolifically inspired voice in constant shift.

The band, which was formed in 2002, adopts an avant-garde approach but also has the sensibility of Romany Gypsy brass bands. That's one for the ages, but the amalgam works well particularly with this group's well-defined approach to modernity and a host of ideas.

All of the players bring in a sense of fluidity, at times dramatised, at others working within the soft folds of the composition. They get off to a freewheeling start with "Bears of Illium, where trumpeter Patrick Newbery describes arcs before he settles into a gentler linearity. But then David McDonnell (alto saxophone) calms the waters with a melodic expansion of the melody, nudging the line ever so lightly. Newbery and trombonist Nick Broste have other ideas, which they dissemble and let freedom take the air. Through it all there is one certainty: the band can change tack and course seamlessly.

"Lionheart rallies round the cry of the trumpet and the saxophone as they trade short phrases. Newberry gets out first with a brassy, swinging take, gradually upending form for another free-for-all. McDonnell turns it outside in as he engraves a Middle Eastern melody that turns to be the precursor for a spontaneous explosion of dynamics, capturing the vitality of the band with resonant aural delight.

Even when the mood turns calm, there is a tangible depth to the feeling this music evokes. Case in point: "Cry of the Locust, a ballad that strikes a rich lode on the viola of Andra Kulans; Dylan Ryan is content to acknowledge that presence with low-key accompaniment on the piano.


Track Listing: Bears of Illium; Let There Be Neon; Fuzball in Valhalla; Girl We Couldn't Get Much Higher; Lionheart; Cry of the Locusts; Twin Unicorns; Return to the Woods.

Personnel: Nick Broste: trombone; Greg Danek: bass; David McDonnell: alto saxophone, clarinet; Patrick Newbery: trumpet; Dylan Ryan: drums, vibraphone, piano; John Beard: guitar (3); Andra Kulans: viola (6).

Title: Orange Blossom | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: 482 Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Harmonies" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonies
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "The Sun Though the Rain" CD/LP/Track Review The Sun Though the Rain
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Matador 4" CD/LP/Track Review Matador 4
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 21, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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