All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Jewels and Binoculars: Ships with Tattooed Sails

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Jewels and Binoculars, the collaboration between Michael Vatcher (drums, percussion), Lindsey Horner (bass) and Michael Moore (alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, melodica), delves into the Bob Dylan songbook for its third album, the Upshot Records release Ships with Tattooed Sails.

Dylan is not a stranger to them. They have been exploring his music since the 1990s, finding their inspiration in the images conjured by his words while taking flight from the roots of folk music to shape a whole new dimension.

Melody is key to their structure, but they bring in a lot more through the reinvention of the harmony and in the extension of the textures. Bill Frisell, who plays guitar on three of the tunes, helps open the progression with his distinct touch.

The group juxtaposes its approach in fine detail. It can open a melody, exposing its depth and beauty, or use it on the fly and find a direction of its own. In either case, the trio makes a potent statement.

"I Believe in You is majestic. Moore indulges in the melody, soaking in its sweetness and letting it fall gently in a warm clasp. Horner ruminates on the theme and Vatcher adds a modulated beat. Moore goes on to the alto from the clarinet, and in doing so injects edgy trajectories to bring in another side of passion.

Moore swings on the supple lines laid by Vatcher and Horner on "Cold Irons Bound. Dylan's composition takes a new tangent, one that becomes the innovative motivation of the group. As the rhythm men come upfront to converse, Moore takes up the melodica and moves into the spaces with quietude. The emphasis has changed; the impact stays.

"Blind Willie McTell churns myriad colors. The approach is free and open, with Frisell dropping notes between Moore's darting lines. The playing becomes modulated when Frisell settles into the melody. Moore heads into the forefront, changing the face of the tune, but never straying from the center. And when it becomes more of a collective effort, motored by the crisp beat of Vatcher's drums and Horner's improvised turn of phrase, the result is spellbinding.

Track Listing: If You See Her, Say Hello; Blind Willie McTell; Father of Night; I Believe In You; Cold Irons Bound; It

Personnel: Michael Vatcher: drums, percussion; Lindsey Horner: bass; Michael Moore: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, melodica; Bill Frisell: guitar (2, 6, 9).

Title: Ships with Tattooed Sails | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Upshot Records


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Turbulence CD/LP/Track Review
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Black Swan CD/LP/Track Review
Black Swan
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Both Sides Of The Sky CD/LP/Track Review
Both Sides Of The Sky
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Beethoven – Missa Solemnis CD/LP/Track Review
Beethoven – Missa Solemnis
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 CD/LP/Track Review
Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The...
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "Drifting Home" CD/LP/Track Review Drifting Home
by Jim Worsley
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "Train Of Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Train Of Thought
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)" CD/LP/Track Review Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "Alaya" CD/LP/Track Review Alaya
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 9, 2017