232

The Bennie Maupin Ensemble: Penumbra

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
The Bennie Maupin Ensemble: Penumbra For whatever it's worth, Bennie Maupin will continue to be associated with Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, and to an extent with Herbie Hancock and his fusion phase. But times and circumstances have changed, and it is good to see Maupin get into an acoustic setting that draws attention to his playing and his music. It is telling that the title of the first tune refers to a love for novelty in the present day.

Maupin plays five instruments along with a bassist, a drummer and a percussionist, all of whom fit in just nicely and elevate his music, which is spare, open, spacious and often unhurried. His arrangements are little nuggets of invention. He builds "Penumbra on a sparse dialogue between Darek "Oles Oleszkiewicz's bass and Daryl Munyungo Jackson's percussion. Their quiet eloquence is raised when Maupin joins in on alto flute and Michael Stephans inflects accents on the cymbals. Maupin creates a soft sheen that's resplendent in its conception, flowing in quiet majesty.

The mood sweeps upbeat on "See the Positive. The rhythm section flexes a jumpy pulse which Maupin extends with a mellifluent air on soprano sax, wallowing in the melody and injecting it with sprightly verve. When Maupin wrote a "Message to Prez, he gave himself room to manoeuvre. A fissiparous opening where figures form and dissipate moves into a pronounced melodic body injected with sinew. The rhythm section brings in interesting contrasts: Oleszkiewicz keeps the beat pegged on the bass, while Jackson uses the shakers to swish across the lines of the bass clarinet.

A welcome return from Maupin.


Track Listing: Neophilia 2006; Walter Bishop, Jr.; Level Three; Blinkers; Penumbra; Mirror Image; Message To Prez; Tapping Things; Vapors; One For Eric Dolphy; See The Positive; Trop On A Rope; The 12th Day; Equal Justice.

Personnel: Bennie Maupin: bass clarinet, tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute, piano; Darek Oleszkiewicz: bass; Michael Stephans: drums; Daryl Munyungo Jackson: percussion.

Title: Penumbra | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Cryptogramophone


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "For King & Country" CD/LP/Track Review For King & Country
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Happy Juice" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Juice
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Do Not Go Gently" CD/LP/Track Review Do Not Go Gently
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!" CD/LP/Track Review Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 3, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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