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Mark Helias: Atomic Clock

Read "Atomic Clock" reviewed by Donald Elfman

Mark Helias--his big steady bass and organic, his compositions ever-changing--continues to set the standard for making music that bears shape and direction but also celebrates the freedom to improvise openly and... er... loosely. For ten years he and his powerful trio have refined and broadened the scope of this music so by now the players share an ethos that allows them to explore what making music in a group means. It's three individuals bonded by the passion of collaboration.

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Mark Helias' Open Loose: Atomic Clock

Read "Atomic Clock" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

In a career spanning over twenty years, Mark Helias has worked with some interesting musical collaborations and concepts. He has constantly searched for the new and challenging, whether it has been in the company of musicians like Ray Anderson, Pheeroan akLaff, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway, to name a few--or in his writing, which encompasses chamber music, big band charts and smaller collaborations like a bass duo with Hemingway.

Helias' concept of open loose sits in well with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Helias' Open Loose: Atomic Clock

Read "Atomic Clock" reviewed by Nic Jones

Bassist Mark Helias has a great band here. All three musicians, augmented by the second tenor sax of Ellery Eskelin on one track, are entirely in tune with each other, and this programme is notable for the high number of occasions when they seem to breathe as one. The perhaps deliberately woozy air of “Modern Scag" is a case in point. Malaby and Eskelin don't so much lock horns as they seem to agree on an approach that takes the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Helias' Open Loose: Verbs of Will

Read "Verbs of Will" reviewed by Clifford Allen

If modern jazz has truly reached a historical synthesis of the sort that will keep it going indefinitely and show its “guts," then free-bop might just be that most promising vein. It’s not that free-bop is a particularly new animal; the net can be cast to both Ornette and Hamiet Bluiett, but it often shows more life and individuality than textbook recreations of classic Blue Note sides could offer and yet keeps its freedom in enough check to still be ...


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