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...

9

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 Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 8, 2018
Read "Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Earth
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "The Window" CD/LP/Track Review The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e" CD/LP/Track Review 64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 13, 2018
Read "Anniversary Package; Lab 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Anniversary Package; Lab 2017
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 24, 2017