241

Jeremy Udden: Plainville

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Jeremy Udden: Plainville 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: saxophones; Brandon Seabrook: banjo, guitars; Pete Rende: pump organ, Fender Rhodes, pedal steel, Prophet; Eivind Opsvik: bass; R.J. Miller: drums; Nathan Blehar: nylon-string acoustic guitar (1, 4); Mike Baggetta: electric guitar (9); Justin Keller: tenor sax (2).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "LifeCycle" CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Evolution" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Troy Collins
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "Zea" CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Message In Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Message In Motion
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Welcome to Swingsville!" CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!