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...

3

Mason Razavi: Quartet Plus, Volume 2

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The "plus" in San Francisco Bay area-based guitarist Mason Razavi's CD Quartet Plus, Volume 2 is a front line consisting of trumpet, trombone and three reeds, which on the second half of the album more than doubles the size of Razavi's quartet. There are many ways that could be done. For example, the nonet tracks might have been interspersed at random, placed ahead of the quartet tracks, replaced the quartet on odd-or even-numbered tracks and so on. But this is the sequence Razavi has chosen, and it's his album.

One advantage of the positioning is that it lends the impression of two albums in one, the first an amiable post-bop quartet session, the second a well-spoken mini-big band accompanied by a four-piece rhythm section. Perhaps that is what Razavi had in mind. In any case it seems to work well, thanks in large measure to Razavi's engaging compositions and arrangements (he arranged every number and wrote all save the robust finale, Juan Tizol's well-traveled "Caravan"). It also shows Razavi's versatility, as writing for a nonet is rather far removed from writing for a quartet, and he manages both assignments quite well.

Razavi's fretwork is similarly proficient, consisting for the most part (solo-wise) of scrupulous single-note runs whose goal is deliver an astute and expressive payload. His teammates are coactive in every respect, and pianist Bennett Roth-Newell is another strong soloist in the manner of a Tamir Hendelman (a mainspring in the superb Jeff Hamilton Trio), Kenny Barron or Christian Jacob. Dan Robbins is splendid on acoustic or electric bass, drummer Cody Rhodes likewise with brushes or sticks. The menu includes a "Blues (in New Hues)," a "(Blue and Grey) Waltz" and a pair of flag-wavers, "Grvunkabop" and "Caravan," plus a handsome "Portrait for Mingus," the last three performed by the nonet, which is also heard on two of Razavi's exquisite themes, "When the Ink Ran Dry" and "Through the Fog."

Add flashy solos by trumpeter Justin Smith, soprano / tenor Oscar Pangilinan, alto Ben Torres, baritone Alex Murzyn and trombonist Kevin Bryson, and the upshot is a smooth-sailing quartet / nonet studio date that never runs aground. Assuming there is a Volume 1 (the evidence for that is rather elusive), it would be helpful to check that one out for comparison's sake.

Track Listing: Riverbed; Blues in New Hues; Looking Forward, Looking Back; Blue and Grey Waltz; With the Wind at My Back; When the Ink Ran Dry; Grvünkabop; Portrait for Mingus; Through the Fog; Caravan.

Personnel: Quartet (Tracks 1-5) —Mason Razavi: guitar; Bennett Roth-Newell: piano, keyboards; Dan Robbins: acoustic and electric basses; Cody Rhodes: drums. Quartet Plus (Tracks 6-10) —Justin Smith: trumpet, flugehorn; Ben Torres: alto sax, clarinet; Oscar Pangilinan: tenor and soprano saxes, clarinet; Kevin Bryson: trombone; Alex Murzyn: baritone sax, clarinet, bass clarinet.

Title: Quartet Plus, Volume 2 | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: OA2 Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Riverbed

Riverbed

Mason Razavi
Quartet Plus, Volume 2

Moonlit Message

Moonlit Message

Mason Razavi
Quartet Plus

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Read more articles
After You

After You

First Orbit Sounds
2015

buy
Quartet Plus

Quartet Plus

First Orbit Sounds
2014

buy
People, Places, and Monsters

People, Places, and...

Point Shot Music
2013

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019
Read Rhyme And Reason Album Reviews
Rhyme And Reason
By Mark Corroto
February 21, 2019
Read The Definition of Insanity Album Reviews
The Definition of Insanity
By Nicholas F. Mondello
February 21, 2019
Read Omhu Album Reviews
Omhu
By Jakob Baekgaard
February 21, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Karl Ackermann
February 20, 2019
Read Gary Album Reviews
Gary
By Dan McClenaghan
February 20, 2019