Drummer Franklin Kiermyer continues his advocacy of later day Trane on Sanctification which also represents the first release for his new label, aptly titled, “Sunship Records”. Along with his long time working quartet of saxophonist Michael Stuart, pianist John Esposito and bassist Fima Ephron, Kiermyer once again revitalizes the spirit of John Coltrane via swirling progressions and a soaring-skyward approach amid his often swashbuckling, hard hitting and overtly strenuous polyrhythmic excursions from behind the kit.
Kiermyer’s charismatic and somewhat complex rhythmic structures provide fertile terrain for the soloists as in the title track, “Sanctification” where Michael Stuart blows walls down while the drummer proceeds to temper the festivities via his rolling tom work and crashing cymbals on the emotionally charged piece, “Aspiration”. Here and throughout, the band sings to the heavens and conveys a sound and style that closely mirrors Coltrane’s mid-60’s soul searching extravaganzas. Well, not that this would be a revelation for those who are familiar with the drummer’s previous outings yet Kiermyer’s symbiotic approach yields a contemporary outlook as the musicians perform with the utmost conviction! - The band melds conventional free-style dialogue with swing-based rhythms on the explosive piece titled, “Illumination” as they build upon underlying themes and melodies along with the often fiery soloing and an - acute sense of the dynamic.
There’s no messing around or beating around the bush here as the band performs with emotion and an altogether energetic spirit. And while the overall sound and attack more than slightly resembles later day Trane, these folks do conjure up a contemporary twist to a 35-year-old musical creation as they seek higher ground during the process.
* * * ½ (out of * * * * *)
Franklin Kiermyer; Drums: Michael Stuart; Saxophone: John Esposito; Piano: Fima Ephron; Bass.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.