21

Peter Kerlin Octet: Salamander

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Kerlin Octet: Salamander Brooklyn continues to build on its reputation as a breeding ground for some of the finest modern jazz in the Northeast. Bassist Peter Kerlin adds to that distinction with Salamander, an octet powered collection with a very unique structure that includes three basses, double vibraphones and a string trio. Kerlin is no stranger to the unusual having played with the genre defying group Source of Yellow and cutting edge trumpeter Nate Wooley. In contrast to those outings as a side man, the music on Salamander transports the ensemble back and forth from structured chamber-style compositions to free improvisation.

The bass has substantial impact on the ensemble's direction as Kerlin's compositions and arraignments frequently kick off with a driving line serving as a foundation for most of the pieces in the collection. What transpires is a varied palette of cavernous, acoustic-based resonance and light airy strings. There's a lot of interesting interplay between the instrument families and the counter-play and resulting textures are used to an interesting effect. Even amongst the more orchestrated passages Kerlin infuses layers of propulsive rhythm, strings and bass in loosely constructed improvisations.

The opener, "Bulbs" and its follow-up—"Snake Eats Electric Blanket"—typify the bass-driven pace that initiates a number of these performances. On the latter piece a repetitive single note becomes the jumping off point for the melodic swirl of strings. "Cenozoan Warp" features some stand out drumming though given the duplication of many of the instruments (including percussion), it's never apparent which of the instrumentalists is soloing. The relatively short "Wanna Let the Bell-Tower Ring" is the most overtly abstract piece in the collection with a warped effect as the notes seem to bend around the thread of a organization. It's also a piece where the vibes have their chance to be out in front. The closing piece, "Ballad of the Bewildered Herd," opens with a wash of cymbals bleeding into the deep, woody bass. The strings and vibes enter, building to a well-orchestrated ballad.

There's a trance-like quality to many of these pieces though they are far more complex than the drone quality sometimes associated with dark jazz. Quiet ballad sections fall into clusters of notes and strings that alternate between a feeling of disorientation and refinement. Pieces morph and shift all the while retaining hypnotic core elements. Salamander is a non-conventional and intriguing album with captivating qualities.

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, percussion.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Innova Recordings


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Salão Brazil CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Behind The Mist CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Sedimental You CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "The Ray Davies Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review The Ray Davies Songbook
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 2, 2016
Read "Till They Lay Me Down" CD/LP/Track Review Till They Lay Me Down
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Havana Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Havana Blue
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!