9

Clay Giberson: Pastures

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Clay Giberson: Pastures Pianist Clay Giberson has a fifteen year resume of fine recordings on Seattle's Origin Records label. The discs are, for the most part, solo and trio outings, with the trio sets appearing under his own name or that of his long-standing Upper Left Trio. Some examples: Spaceton's Approach, (2008), and Minga Minga (2015) as Clay Giberson; and Sell Your Soul Side, (2006), and Ulternative, (2012), with the Upper Left Trio.

With Pastures, the pianist goes the quartet mode, bringing in three New York-based all-stars and, on three tracks, a string quartet, to craft his most gregarious—and his best—outing to date.

On the pianistic extrovert/introvert scale, with, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner on the extrovert side, and Bill Evans or Marc Copland practicing a more introverted form of the art, Giberson would be ranked close to the middle, with a lean in the Evans/Copland direction. Until now. The gregarious and expansive Pastures is inspired by the Americana approach of bassist Charlie Haden, saxophonist Michael Brecker and free jazz giant Ornette Coleman, and highly inspired it is. Opening with the Giberson-penned "The Time For Now," the group—with saxophonist Donny McCaslin blowing bold out front—sounds like the team from McCoy Tyner's classic Infinity (Impulse! Records, 1995), on which saxophonist Brecker made one brash statement after another. With bassist Drew Gress and drummer Matt Wilson rounding out the Pastures quartet, and with Giberson sounding particularly vivacious and daring, the music is elevated to the highest level.

"Solfeggio," written by C.P.E. Bach, explores the classical world with a jazz frame of mind, with a sunny, light-stepping delivery. On "Simple Gifts," Giberson employes a string quartet, which brings the atmosphere of the Charlie Haden/Michael Brecker outing, American Dreams (Verve Records, 2002) to mind. Here, and on "Long Ago And Far Away" (Kern/Gerhswin), the strings enhance and accent the quartet sound with subtle sweetening. On "Infinitity X," a Giberson tune—and (for these ears) the disc's highlight—the two quartets, strings and jazz, slice out a modernistic groove, with McCaslin soaring on the soprano sax before the strings wind things down in a soothing lullaby.

Pastures is Clay Giberson's highly engaging mix of his dynamic original compositions and a handful of well-chosen and distinctively rendered covers, laid down by an enlivened top-notch quartet. Scintillating sounds, from start to finish.

Track Listing: The Time For Now; Solfeggio; Simple Gifts; Highwire; Long Ago And Far Away; Song For Ornette; Nobody Does it Better; Infinity X; Las Pasturas Del Cielo.

Personnel: Clay Giberson: piano; Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone, flute (2, 5), soprano saxophone (8); Drew Gress: bass; Matt Wilson: drums; Emily Cole: violin (3, 5, 8); Julie Coleman: violin (3, 5, 8); Charles Noble: viola (3, 5, 8); Trevor Fitzpatrick: cello: (3, 5, 8)

Title: Pastures | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Origin Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Carve" CD/LP/Track Review Carve
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Free World Music" CD/LP/Track Review Free World Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by John Sharpe
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Third Stage of Elegance" CD/LP/Track Review Third Stage of Elegance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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