All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

362

Brian Blade Fellowship: Perceptual

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Far from your typical young jazz artist, drummer Brian Blade seems almost bent on avoiding classification. He's been found in the studio and/or on the road with such disparate employers as Joshua Redman, Bob Dylan, Seal, and Joni Mitchell. With technical prowess of obvious proportions, Blade is equally reticent about flashy drum displays, content to merely color and prod the composition at hand. All of this is as much apparent in his sideman stints as it is with his two Blue Note dates as a leader, Perceptual being the latest offering by his collective known as The Brian Blade Fellowship.

A more varied and ultimately satisfying affair than the group's 1998 debut, Perceptual is still nonetheless a dark and brooding journey that has as its underlying theme society's current lack of humanity and value for young lives, keyboardist Jon Cowherd's "Reconciliation" being directly influenced by the shootings in Paducah, Kentucky. Much of what comprises this hour-long recital is of a restrained and pensive nature and those hoping for lengthy drum solos and the typical "burn-out" type of improvisations will have to look elsewhere. In fact, very little of the material here swings in the conventional sense, save for sections of "Steadfast" and the 5/4 lilt of "Crooked Creek."

The one new addition to this group since the last record is that of guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and it's a curious one. I say this in consideration of the clear association between the spirit of this set and that of Rosenwinkel's own recent The Enemies of Energy. Stretching the comparisons even further, the Nordic strains of Jan Garbarek's musical personality (not to mention an overall chamber- like quality akin to the ECM mantra) are more than hinted at during the lengthy suite, "Variations of a Bloodline." All of this is not to suggest mere rote regurgitation on Blade's part, but to provide point of reference for the uninitiated.

In the final analysis, Perceptual is a very likable and intoxicating brew that benefits from a collective sound that finds no one person in particular dominating the proceedings. The key will be for Blade, Rosenwinkel, and other purveyors of these latest musical developments to make sure they don't run aground much in the same way that the renaissance fostered by Marsalis and his ilk during the '80 led to many dead-end roads.


Track Listing: Perceptual; Evinrude-Fifty; Reconciliation, Crooked Creek; Patron Saint of Girls; The Sunday Boys; Variations on a Blood Line: From the Same Blood, Fellowship, Mustangs; Steadfast; Trembling

Personnel: Brian Blade- drums, guitar & vocals; Melvin Butler- tenor & soprano saxophone; Jon Cowherd- piano & keyboards; Dave Easley- pedal steel guitar; Kurt Rosenwinkel- electric & acoustic guitars; Christopher Thomas- bass; Myron Walden- alto sax & bass clarinet; Daniel Lanois- guitars (tracks 8 & 9 only); Joni Mitchell- vocal (track 8 only) (53:55)

Title: Perceptual | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Meander
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 6, 2018
Read "Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts" CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Secret Passages" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "La Saboteuse" CD/LP/Track Review La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "What What" CD/LP/Track Review What What
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 15, 2017