2

Anna Webber: Percussive Mechanics

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Anna Webber: Percussive Mechanics First she was a flutist, then a saxophonist, now an outstanding jazz and new music composer. Canada's Anna Webber follows up her debut, Third Floor People (Nowt Records, 2010), with Percussive Mechanics, a skirmish between contemporary composed music and jazz improvisation.

As a player, she has recorded with Stephon Harris's Blackout—Urbanus (Concord, 2009)—and has also performed with Jason Moran, Tony Malaby, and John Hollenbeck. It is Hollenbeck that is the touchstone for her compositions here. Webber plays with the conflicts between thoroughly composed music and jazz improvisation. Her pieces, like the title track, come across as automated, almost precise machine-driven compositions. Performed by skilled musicians, Percussive Mechanics is a tightly scored system of music. The beauty here is that her structures leak improvisation between the gears. The recording builds from its marimba/vibraphone and flute opening, adding clarinet, piano, and eventually the entire septet. Brief solos emerge as it gains momentum. Tension builds within the structure, eventually the orchestration giving way to the hoots and hollers of the players.

Webber's stratagem, to compose using layer upon precise layer to elicit both a disciplined sound and a new expression of controlled chaos, is the heart of jazz improvisation. Pianist Elias Stemeseder's simple and exact lines open "Sleeping Is Giving In" drums, percussion and meticulous horns then enter, following Webber's system. As the piece unfolds, the lines diverge and the music blossoms, with soloists spiraling above and escalating the music.

Album highlights include "Terrarose," with its whistled passage, and "Histronics," which opens with Webber and one (then two) drummers, harmonizing with her tenor saxophone. The stripped-down piece sums up her methodology—from the detailed discipline of writing, the human element and expression bloom.

Track Listing: Dan:Ce; Certain Transcendence; Terrarosa; Percussive Mechanics; Vigilance; Sleeping Is Giving In; Histronics; Let It Cut More Deep; Eins!.

Personnel: Anna Webber: flute, tenor saxophone; James Wylie: clarinet, alto saxophone; Elias Stemeseder: piano, wurlitzer; Julius Heise: vibraphone, marimba, whistling; Igor Spallati: double bass; Max Andrzejewski: drum set, glockenspiel, miscellaneous percussion, whistling; Martin Kruemmling: drum set, miscellaneous percussion.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Pirouet Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Salão Brazil CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Behind The Mist CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Sedimental You CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Jassemblage" CD/LP/Track Review Jassemblage
by Chuck Koton
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "From Two Balconies" CD/LP/Track Review From Two Balconies
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!