1

Quinsin Nachoff: Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Quinsin Nachoff: Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
It's interesting how modern jazz performers come to the music from very different circumstances than those of players of bygone eras. Instead of learning their craft in a bar or bagnio, they went to a conservatory to sharpen their chops. What they lack in perceived street-smarts (the outdated 1950s hipster delusion of jazzman as junkie), they make up for with a richness of talents and a knowledge of modern music. All this can be said of saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff. He can compose music for contemporary classical chamber ensembles, play jazz with a small "j," or fire off improvisational jazz with upper case letters.

His Ethereal Trio genesis was a piece he composed for the Penderecki String Quartet and a saxophone trio, "Stars And Constellations: Scorpio." Performing separately from the strings, he found this working trio of bassist Mark Helias and drummer Dan Weiss allowed him to write intricate pieces that morphed into improvisational masterworks, as evidenced in the trio's debut recording.

Each player brings a wealth of knowledge and talent to this trio. Helias has performed with the likes of Anthony Braxton, Abbey Lincoln, Anthony Davis, and Andrew Cyrille, and those are just the greats that begin with the letter "A." Likewise, Dan Weiss is the go-to New York percussionist for Rudresh Mahanthappa and Matt Mitchell. Both have written music for large ensembles. The music here can best be described as impeccable, but not pristine, as in classical music. The three create a back-and-forth, much like the Harlem Globetrotters weave a basketball exhibition, making the unassailable, defenseless.

The disc opens with "Clairvoyant Jest," a slick-hip swing/pause/swing piece that chases effervescence as a theme. The music here is well crafted to allow for varying time changes (a specialty of Weiss and Helias) and it gives plenty of space for each musician to enunciate. Where we once expected soloing, here the players engage in something more conversational. The piece "Gravitas" sets up a stunning saxophone flight against bowed bass and Weiss' brush and cymbal explorations. Where a padrone- led recording might eschew equal time, Nachoff fosters it. Without the trio's name, it would be anyone's guess who's session this was. And more power to the saxophonist for his generosity. "Subliminal Circularity" is the recording's popular choice with Weiss working his kick drum like a funky marching band and Helias chasing, then being chased. Nachoff's saxophone playing is as thoroughly modern and unsoiled as say, Mark Turner's, and we also hear flavors of Joe Lovano in his playing. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Clairvoyant Jest; Imagination Reconstruction; Gravitas; Subliminal Circularity; Push-Pull Topology; Portrait in Sepia Tones.

Personnel

Quinsin Nachoff: tenor saxophone; Mark Helias: double bass; Dan Weiss: drums.

Album information

Title: Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane
Read Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah!
The Claire Daly Band
Read Artlessly Falling
Artlessly Falling
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl
Read Hi-Fly
Hi-Fly
Howard University Jazz Ensemble
Read And Then It Rained
And Then It Rained
The Michael O'Neill Quartet
Read You're It!
You're It!
The Mike Melito / Dino Losito Quartet
Read URBAN(E)
URBAN(E)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.