All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

1

Polyorchard: Red October

Daniel Barbiero By

Sign in to view read count
Polyorchard is a free improvisational group with a flexible membership; the one constant is Raleigh, North Carolina double bassist David Menestres. The group has taken the diverse forms of string trio, trio of strings and keyboard and mixed group of brass, reeds and strings. Earlier this month (I write at the end of March) they played the DC area alternative space Rhizome in a trio configuration of Menestres, keyboardist Jill Christensen and violist Dan Ruccia; in Red October, the group consists of Menestres along with trombonist Jeb Bishop, saxophonist Laurent Estoppey, and percussionist Shawn Galvin.

Red October was recorded in October, 2014 in Raleigh. Their previous release, Color Theory in Black and White, was recorded just prior to the sessions that produced Red October and was issued in 2015. This earlier release was divided in two: four performances of the Black group (Menestres with Ruccia and Chris Eubank on cello) followed by six performances of the White group (Menestres with Bishop and Estoppey). The two groups are different in sound profile but correlated in approach, each one playing effectively with the palette of instrumental colors available—colors derived not only from conventional playing, but from a generous use of extended technique and preparations as well.

As with Color Theory, so with Red October. The music is freely improvised with a great sensitivity to the instruments' timbral relationships, which disclose themselves through constant changes in the density of the group's textures. Throughout the recording, the four alternately come together as an integrated quartet or break apart into subgroups of different sizes, the better to emphasize timbral similarity or contrast as desired. Menestres, for example, can harmonize percussive strikes on the bass with Galvin's drumming, or he can blend his bowed lines into Bishop and Estoppey's long tones; the wind instruments often set up a dialogue that sounds like the same language being spoken in two related but distinct dialects. In addition, the quartet's play with variable dynamics, which range from very quiet to expressionistically strident, helps bring out and underscore the distinctive characteristics of each voice. This isn't purely sound-based improvisation, though; there are bracing moments of contrapuntal interplay and emergent harmonies that add nuance to the music's emotional drama.

Track Listing: Like; To; Have; Seen; Montana.

Personnel: David Menestres: double bass; Jeb Bishop: trombone; Laurent Estoppey: saxophones; Shawn Galvin: percussion.

Title: Red October | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Out and Gone Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Red October

Red October

Out and Gone Music
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Uplift The People CD/LP/Track Review
Uplift The People
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read A New Shade Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review
A New Shade Of Blue
by Chris May
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Rabbits on the Run CD/LP/Track Review
Rabbits on the Run
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Imaginary Numbers CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Numbers
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "speak between" CD/LP/Track Review speak between
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 3, 2018
Read "The Literature" CD/LP/Track Review The Literature
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "Root Structure" CD/LP/Track Review Root Structure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Déjà Vu" CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Viata" CD/LP/Track Review Viata
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "Smoke" CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017