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With an unconventional group setting, initial impressions might suggest chamber-jazz of some flavor, but Brooklyn bassist Peter Kerlin's debut effort as a leader is framed on several tangents of classical and jazz. And the young musicians impart aspirations and ingenuity, often intimating the outcomes of a thirst for knowledge and unhindered commitment. Here, the band abides by an unhurried stride as Kerlin's unique and enlivening compositions honor the modern jazz and nouveau chamber strata. But these pieces also contain doses of minimalism and ambient ethereal persuasions with snappy rock grooves, entrancing ostinatos and polychromatic treatments.
At times Kerlin and associates execute programmatic grooves with layered strings and booming bass parts, coupled with loosely organized jazz-based improvisation. For example, on "Wanna Let The Bell-Tower Ring," the ensemble renders abrupt stops with a terse, odd- metered unison runs and radiant improv segments. Otherwise, the leader yields perceptive song-form stylizations and contrasting statements, brimming with transitory detours.
"Ballad Of The Bewildered Herd," features extended bass workouts amid cymbals-induced coloration and frothy beats by drummers Mike Pride and Charles Burst. Hence, the musicians articulate numerous viewpoints, enhanced by a little roughhousing in spots. The strings section closes it out with a gruff and steely imprint. Moreover, the band transcends a softly woven melody into an ostinato motif that seemingly comes out of nowhere, signifying one of many subtle surprises on this irrefutably persuasive offering. It's as though Kerlin lifts items from different categories; reassembles, organizes and customizes into a top-shelf product.
Track Listing: Bulbs; Snake Eats Electric Blanket; Cenozoan Warp; Wanna Let The Bell-
Tower Ring; Ballad Of The Bewildered Herd.
Personnel: Peter Kerlin: bass; Taylor Bergren-Chrisman: bass; Brent Cordero: bass:
Sam Sowyrda: vibraphone; Cesare Papetti: vibraphone; Amy Cimini: viola;
Jessica Pavone: viola; Karen Waltuch: viola; Emily Manzo: organ,
Wurlitzer; Mike Pride: drums, percussion; Charles Burst: drums,
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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