All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

8

9 Horses: Perfectest Herald

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Perfectest Herald is another release that stretches the label "jazz" or even that of "creative improvised music" as it casts its spell and ultimately becomes completely enveloping.

9 Horses, the trio put together by composer and mandolin virtuoso Joseph Brent, consists of two other extraordinary players: violinist Sara Caswell and bassist Shawn Conley who seem just perfect for Brent's music. What is heard is a wonderful mixing of many styles and genres, including classical, jazz and folk which is both improvised and through-composed.

Brent's music is just bursting with emotion and its immediacy is partly what makes it so attractive and inviting. There is also a very strong feeling of story-telling which carries one along as the music puts its hand around your shoulder. Much of Brent's music is composed, but it does not sound like it most of the time in that there is always a little bit of the pulse connection which separates this music from "straight" classical.

A bit harder to quantify is the fact that this music, despite its story-telling, has the quality of "pure" music. Brent is not playing the mandolin, but rather music on what happens to be a mandolin. Caswell's violin (and Hardanger d'amore) breathes, speaks and sings, while every note from Conley (including his extremely accurate bowing) is alive.

The core of the album is the four-movement "Perfectest Herald" suite, which gets its name from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Not to slight the surrounding tracks, but these four tracks are among the most life affirming one will ever hear. Music can be a very powerful force, and to listen to these pieces is to be refreshed and changed. Regardless of which emotional depths Brent drew on to compose these pieces, this highly emotive music touches and communicates the essence of what it means to be an alive, feeling human being.

9 Horses is a very special group from which there is no doubt more will be heard and Perfectest Herald is a very special creative work. The only way to fully understand its depth and complexity is to listen to it, and this reviewer feels very fortunate to have had that opportunity.

Track Listing: Monochrome Shoe; Snow Musik; Perfectest Herald: (Movement I) 4K; (Movement II) listening to the Elliott Smith discography in reverse order; (Movement III) the socket doesn't know its power until it's inspired by the plug; (Movement IV) when the wolf comes home.

Personnel: Joseph Brent: 10-string mandolin; Sara Caswell: violin (tracks 1- 4,6,8,9), Hardanger d'amore (tracks 2,5,7); Shawn Conley (bass); Ben Wittman: percussion (tracks 1,7,8).

Title: Perfectest Herald | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim CD/LP/Track Review
Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim
by Kevin Press
Published: February 19, 2018
Read 9 CD/LP/Track Review
9
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read "Open Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "The Twilight Fall" CD/LP/Track Review The Twilight Fall
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "On a Distant Shore" CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Tied Together, Not to the Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Tied Together, Not to the Ground
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Instinct" CD/LP/Track Review Instinct
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 12, 2017
Read "If You Have a Dream" CD/LP/Track Review If You Have a Dream
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 3, 2017