232

Herculaneum: Orange Blossom

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Herculaneum: Orange Blossom
One of the questions that always seem to be raised about original compositions addresses the issue of whether or not they hold the promise of longevity. It's a question that seems especially pertinent here.

Drummer Dylan Ryan has come up with a programme of compositions here which, while they might lack something from the melodic point of view—there are certainly no obvious hooks—show a depth of character that puts them well beyond the time-honoured line for blowing on that might once have been a hallmark. This is most evident on "Cry Of The Locusts," where a mood of unsettled languor prevails, the evocation aided in no small part by Andra Kulans' viola.

Elsewhere, fitting the music into some free-bop continuum seems a little spurious, not least because the working methodology comes from a different, darker place. Even Ryan's solo introduction to "Let There Be Neon" seems to serve only to set up what follows. Any baser egotistical concern comes a distant second.

It is still true to say that this music would not be half as successful as it is if the soloists were found wanting, and there is ample evidence here that they are equal to the demands of the occasion. Bassist Greg Danek is a model of economy on "Return To The Woods," while trumpeter Patrick Newbery readily calls to mind no one other than himself on "Lionheart." The skewed line of "Bears Of Illium" seems almost tailor-made David McDonnell's alto sax, and he manages to find an area of tranquility that is anything but obvious, given the nature of the piece.

It might just be that listeners would be doing themselves a favour if they started to alter their expectations with regards to that division between time-honoured compositions and originals, especially as this amounts to a body of music that makes its deep and positive impression by travelling along an original route. The absence of obvious antecedents only makes it more refreshing.

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).

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Jammin' With KC
Jammin' With KC
Sylwester Ostrowski
Read What Comes Next
What Comes Next
Peter Bernstein
Read A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
Bruno Parrinha/Abdul Moimême/Carlos Santos
Read Suite!
Suite!
Roberto Magris

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.