Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

241

Jeremy Udden: Plainville

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Jeremy Udden comes armed with heavyweight credentials. He's an alumnus of Russ Gershon's phenomenal Either/Orchestra—his playing among the high points of that ensemble's epochal Ethiopiques 20: Live in Addis (Buda Musique, 2005), a record replete with high points.

On this, his second album as a leader, Udden heads far from the Ethiopian sounds of the Gershon disc. He heads back home, in fact: Plainville is named for Udden's Massachusetts hometown.

The first couple of tracks sound like Phil Woods wandering into an impromptu hootenanny. The 3/4 rhythm of "Red Coat Lane," Pete Rende's swelling pump organ, girded by Brandon Seabrook's banjo—all evoke a small-town upbringing not so much in the latter part of the twentieth century as in the latter part of the nineteenth century. No matter, the prevailing motif is one of free-floating nostalgia rather than of references to a specific past, a record about wistful longing itself more than memory. Later tracks (e.g. "Curbs"), for example, hearken back to garage rock. (Or is it an homage to Jim Black?)

Plainville appropriates two elements of Todd Sickafoose's excellent Tiny Resistors (Cryptogramophone, 2008): a solidarity-laden, informal group sound, like a living-room session (Plainville might have been recorded in the kitchen); and second, long, keening melodic lines as familiar with mid-'60s folk rock as with mid-'60s Miles Davis (the first few notes of "Reunion" could be quoting the Beatles' "In My Life"). If anything, Udden writes even prettier songs than Sickafoose ("Christmas Song," "Modest").

The instrumentarium is bizarre, and prevents the tunes from becoming cloying at their sweeter moments. Especially noteworthy is Rende's panoply of slightly beaten-up sounding keyboards. The playing of Rende and banjoist/guitarist Seabrook seems to owe little immediately discernible debts to mainstream jazz improvisers, in keeping with the hybrid nature of this record's musical philosophy, but they solo imaginatively. Udden's is the most distinctively jazz-oriented voice on Plainville—he really does sound like Phil Woods sometimes.

The charming irony of this record is that Udden, looking backward, has created something that sounds fresh and novel.


Track Listing: Plainville; Red Coat Lane; Curbs; Christmas Song; 695; Modest; Big Lick; The Reunion; Empty Lots.

Personnel: Jeremy Udden: alto and soprano saxophones, cymbals (5); Pete Rende: pump organ, Fender Rhodes, pedal steel guitar, Prophet; Brandon Seabrook: banjo, electric guitar, steel string acoustic guitar; Eivind Opsvik: bass; RJ Miller: drums; Nathan Blehar: nylon-string acoustic guitar (1, 4); Mike Baggetta: electric guitar (9); Justin Keller: tenor saxophone (2).

Title: Plainville | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Glow of Benares CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Magic Circle CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017
Read A Gathering Foretold CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Time for the Dancers" CD/LP/Track Review Time for the Dancers
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 30, 2017
Read "Dance of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Dance of Time
by Jeff Winbush
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)" CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Duo (DCWM) 2013" CD/LP/Track Review Duo (DCWM) 2013
by John Sharpe
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Leap of Faith Orchestra - Possible Universes" CD/LP/Track Review Leap of Faith Orchestra - Possible Universes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 1, 2017

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!