275

Glenn White: Sacred Machines

By

Sign in to view read count
Glenn White: Sacred Machines New York-based saxophonist Glenn White presents a set of eloquent and somewhat haunting tunes on Sacred Machines. The machines herein are a platform for the strong soloists in the ensemble, but the album's unity comes from a common palette that transcends the bandleader's harmonic tendencies (White wrote six of the disc's seven songs). Sacred Machines presents a pleasant interplay between able musicians, in a firm, stylistic environment.

Although there is a degree of variation between the tracks—"Triality" draws on funk riffs and organ work to give a rootsy, 1970s feel, while "Washington Heights" has moments of very tender balladry—the bulk of the album is devoted to a certain kind of play. White concentrates primarily on melodies that interweave independent sax lines and Jamie Baum's alto flute—a fascinating instrument that provides a sturdier timbre than the normal flute, while still giving an airy, honest sound.

Gary Wang and Jeff Hirshfield provide strong foundations on bass and drums respectively, but the thrust of the album is towards virtuosic soloing. Most often, the compositions settle into a hovering vamp over a simple progression, while one or more musicians invent a clouded yet compelling motif. Through it all, Wang and Hirshfield retain a responsibility to consistent, level playing.

While the horns bob and weave over the melodies, these compositions are rooted in a sense of playful exploration, all within the parameters of White's harmonic language. The textures on Sacred Machines never get too wild or chaotic, but instead hold fast to a modern-sounding variant on modal harmony. The highlighted members of the band seem quite simpatico in this, with pianist Roberta Piket laying down some lovely solos (her accelerated section of "Washington Heights") while also furnishing a chordal vocabulary drawing heavily on Herbie Hancock's 1960s modal explorations. Additionally, on "Aftermath," the one track not penned by White, Baum composes a melody replete with harmonic strangeness, using contrary motion and clustered intervals between the horns. With these shared sensibilities and strong playing by everyone, Sacred Machines showcases a strong band in top form.


Track Listing: Sacred Machines; Split Infinity; Triality; Washington Heights; Phobia; Wish; Aftermath.

Personnel: Glenn White: tenor sax; Roberta Piket: piano, Rhodes; Jamie Baum: flute, alto flute; Gary Wang: bass; Jeff Hirshfield: drums; Patrick Hay: guitar.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: OA2 Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Blues, Preludes and Feuds" CD/LP/Track Review Blues, Preludes and Feuds
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "Back Where I Belong" CD/LP/Track Review Back Where I Belong
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens" CD/LP/Track Review Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!