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...

2

Anna Webber: Percussive Mechanics

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Percussive Mechanics | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Pirouet Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Rectangles 2

Rectangles 2

Anna Webber
Binary

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Binary

Binary

Skirl Records
2017

buy
Binary

Binary

Skirl Records
2016

buy
Simple

Simple

Skirl Records
2015

buy
Refraction

Refraction

Pirouet Records
2015

buy
Simple

Simple

Skirl Records
2014

buy
Percussive Mechanics

Percussive Mechanics

Pirouet Records
2013

buy
Date Detail Price
Dec18Tue
18:00
Brooklyn Wide Open
New Utrecht Library
Brooklyn, NY
Dec19Wed
18:00
Brooklyn Wide Open
Brower Park Library
Brooklyn, NY
Mar2Sat
19:00
Brooklyn Wide Open
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Brooklyn, NY
Jun8Sat
19:00
Brooklyn Wide Open
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Brooklyn, NY

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "Displaced Diaspora" CD/LP/Track Review Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read "Article XI" CD/LP/Track Review Article XI
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 5, 2018
Read "Explosion" CD/LP/Track Review Explosion
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2018
Read "Unbreakable" CD/LP/Track Review Unbreakable
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: July 31, 2018
Read "The Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 5, 2018
Read "Powered by Life" CD/LP/Track Review Powered by Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 24, 2018