127

Tim Armacost: Rhythm and Transformation

By

Sign in to view read count
Tim Armacost: Rhythm and Transformation Saxophonist/composer Tim Armacost spent a year in Delhi starting in 1993 studying Hindustani rhythms. In 2002, he received a grant from Chamber Music America to write a suite that places these rhythms in a jazz context. The result is the title suite of this remarkable album. Two of the players on the disc—pianist Bruce Barth and drummer Billy Hart—are part of Armacost's working quartet and that they are open to the kind of rhythmic flexibility demonstrated here goes a long way to grounding the music but keeping it open to new possibilities.

Check out a knockout composition that puts this all into perspective. It's "Indian News and with the help of bassist Ugonna Okegwo, tabla player Ray Spiegel and trumpeter Eddie Henderson, the band slams into a hard-driving groove that reflects the best kind of modern jazz thinking but moves forward thanks to the help of the new textures. Armacost plays a kicking tenor and is followed by a slightly more abstract but no less powerful Henderson. There are some intriguing shifts between the Indian rhythm called the tihai, a 33-beat phrase where the last beat serves as the downbeat of the next section of 32.

Armacost also plays a beautiful alto flute on the tape-looped excursions of "Circular Interlude and the closer "Circular Postlude," on which tabla and tanpura are added to the loop. And, on the same instrument, Armacost serves up a gorgeous "While My Lady Sleeps in the mood of the classic Coltrane ballad version but with deft coloring from Barth and Hart, complemented by the drone of Spiegel's tanpura.

The title suite is in four parts opening with a medium tempo cooker that makes use of the clave rhythm. Next is the multi-faceted composition "Special Blue," which travels many places and morphs, finally, into slow blues. The third movement, "3x3x3," is the closest to the feel of straight Indian music; at the center is the tabla but the horns play a wonderfully sinuous line. And finally, "Nimble Pani brightly and cheerfully suggests calypso with Armacost, Henderson and Barth dancing out solos.

What's particularly great about this session is that there's no trace of gimmickry. It's organic and all of a piece and it reveals Armacost to be a vital and creative force in modern music.


Track Listing: After Ohnedaruth; Nimble Pani; While My Lady Sleeps; Indian News; Circular Interlude; Monolith; Stereo Blue; 3x3x3; Four Happy Vows; Circular Postlude.

Personnel: Bruce Barth: piano; Ugonna Okegwo: bass; Billy Hart: drums; Eddie Henderson: trumpet; Ray Spiegel: tabla; Tim Armacost: saxes.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ArtistShare | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "AHEO" CD/LP/Track Review AHEO
by James Nadal
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!