Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers 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!

149

Kevin Norton: Quark Bercuse: Solo Percussion Vol. 1

By

Sign in to view read count
Solo music is perhaps the most challenging kind of all. With no place to hide, it's just the musician communicating to the listener. Percussion music presents additional challenges for both the performer and audience, since untuned instruments, like drums and cymbals, lack obvious melodic qualities and tuned instruments, like marimba and xylophone, are not inherently harmonic. But percussion instruments have a vast timbral and dynamic range with which a skilled percussionist can elicit implied melodies and harmonies and present complete musical statements, not merely a barrage of rhythm.

Such is the case in the exceptional hands of Kevin Norton, who explores his concept of "total percussion in improvised music on Quark Bercuse. Norton approaches percussion music like the accomplished composer he is, freeing the drums from their traditional timekeeping role, exploiting their capabilities to craft fully realized pieces. Each composition has purpose and shape, and the results should appeal to both drummers and non-drummers.

The bouncy single-note marimba line of "Knots is punctuated with fleet multi-note flourishes, twisting the melody. Norton allows ample time and space for vibraphone notes to resonate and decay on the nuanced "Cutting Across. With an array of drum textures, sans cymbals, on "Number Nine, Number Nine, he uses a simple repeating pattern to extrapolate from and periodically rein in the tumbling momentum of the improvisations. The title track also has a recurrent melodic marimba phrase, with taut, suspenseful movement that is heightened when he breaks the line or plays in a lower register to comp for himself.

Norton's concept is most striking on "User's Guide/Louie the Loop, fifteen-plus sprawling minutes of dynamic peaks and valleys, as he moves from marimba to drum set and back without pausing or overdubbing. Playing the drum set, he mirrors the marimba pattern on cymbal for continuity, then embellishes against the established feel, artfully blurring composition and improvisation with the tuned and untuned—total percussion music that successfully stands alone.

Track Listing: Knots; Number Nine, Number Nine; Cutting Across; Quark Bercuse; Tradition-Revision- Decision; Cold Day in May-Newspaper Article about the Dead in Iraq; User

Personnel: Kevin Norton: drums, marimba, vibraphone, percussion.

Title: Quark Bercuse: Solo Percussion Vol. 1 | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: FMR Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Some Great Songs Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Some Great Songs Vol. 2
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Langen ro" CD/LP/Track Review Langen ro
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "Silent Voices" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Voices
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Someone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Tenderly featuring Gilad Hekselman" CD/LP/Track Review Tenderly featuring Gilad Hekselman
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017