247

Shot x Shot: Shot x Shot

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Shot x Shot: Shot x Shot
From the very first notes of this debut album, it is abundantly clear that it's an important record, and these young men (the oldest is 26!) have that special something.

Jazz, or to use a term preferred by Bob Rusch of Cadence, "creative improvised music," is the epitome of existential artistic creation. The process yields coherent music that lives by its own rules and internal logic. Everyone understands the language of commonplace jazz that encompasses harmony, rhythm and structure, but the members of this group challenge themselves and their audience by stretching or breaking the rules, never descending into chaos.

The music on Shot x Shot feels inseparable from the lively acoustics of St. Mary's Church in Philadelphia, the band's home town. On the opening track, "Bee Assassins," one can hear the noise floor of the recording and directly sense the large space. Dan Capecchi's cymbal screeches and squeals sound like animals in a rain forest. There is no time and no sense of how long the piece will take to develop, just like in classical Indian music.

The theme that the alto presents after the percussion intro is quite haunting, with some perfectly placed "out" notes. The tenor sax enters with a supporting pedal note and the combination can almost be heard as bagpipes.

This music presents one paradox after another in an impressive way. It's clearly tonal, and yet the playing is quite harmonically free. The theme permeates every note that Dan Scofield (alto) and Bryan Rogers (tenor) play, and its connection to the rest of the piece can be viscerally felt, yet it is not explicitly performed again until the very end. Subsequent listening uncovers the fact that Matt Engle's bass subtly holds everything together; the work has a rhythmic coherence without spelling out an obvious pulse.

All of this reveals a group intelligence at work, striking the perfect balance between too much and too little structure. One group member or another might compose a tune, but the final product is by Shot x Shot, a dynamic of individual freedom subordinated to the group mind. This music is full of moving passion and a spellbinging excitement which results from the combination of intellect and emotion.

This very refreshing disc is worth playing repeatedly in order to uncover deeper layers of thought and feeling. Easily on my short list for the best recordings of 2006, Shot x Shot is amazing music, debut or no debut.

Download "Bee Assassins" from AAJ.

Track Listing

Bee Assassins; One Point Three Full Breaths; Two Improvisations; Volzalisle; Chains of Agree.

Personnel

Dan Capecchi: drums; Matt Engle: bass; Bryan Rogers: tenor saxophone; Dan Scofield: alto saxophone.

Album information

Title: Shot X Shot | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: High Two Recordings

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.