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The PRISM quartet offers a fresh update to the now long-standing tradition of saxophone quartet playing. The all-saxophone core rarely stands alone on Real Standard Time: instead, they draw upon an indie all-star cast of supporting players to round out their sound. When the group operates at its leanest, much of the material obeys formal arrangement and coordinated dynamics. However, as things develop, they break apart and segment into patterns of open improvisation and interplay.
As opposed to groups like the World Saxophone Quartet, PRISM is less interested in the interface between swing and free jazz. Instead, they prefer to balance carefully composed progression and a more conventional straight-ahead style of improvisation. But the music on Real Standard Time remains unpredictable and open-ended; the inclusion of a spectrum of other players lends it a welcome sense of variety. Within the ironic context of "real standards," PRISM also offers a nice combination of purely original tunes.
Track Listing: Three; Your Gentle Heart; St. Michel; Real Standard Time: Passage; i remember...; Planet X; Irregular Regularity; Brown Eyes; Mission Implausible; Her August Touch; Blues for Mae; Hart's Beat; Three (reprise).
Personnel: Tim Ries: soprano saxophone; Michael Whitcombe: alto saxophone; Mat Levy: tenor saxophone; Taimur Sullivan: baritone saxophone. Ben Monder: guitar; Bob Ward: guitar; Larry Goldings: organ; Franck Amsallem: piano; Tony Scherr: bass; Johannes Weidenmuller: bass; John Riley: drums; Eric Halverson: drums; Matt Wilson: drums.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.