Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

108

Norbert Stein Pata, Horns & Drums: Silent Sitting Bulls

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Silent Sitting Bulls is the second release by this quartet, and it's clear that the time they've spent together has not been wasted. The outcome is an exceptional level of musical coherence, and it's not stretching a point to put their music alongside that of some of Arthur Blythe's ensembles as a model which, while it shows deep knowledge of the history of improvised music, also appreciates that a lot of its life's blood is generated by unassuming innovation.

So, while there are precedents for improvised music ensembles who take their cues from chamber music, these guys make those precedents sound fresh and invigorated. There's a playful quality to a lot of the music, too. On "Quantum Mechanics," a recurrent ascending figure constitutes one of the elements the group draws upon, before saxophonist Norbert Stein indulges in a vaguely volcanic tenor exposition. The following collective interplay is some distance from, say, Albert Ayler's music in its consideration, but there's still nothing methodical about it: these guys are intent on communication through enticement, as opposed to any candid rhetoric.

This is a point which sheds light on "Miao & Chiao," where the fractious horn unisons have that playful air again, before a theme, not without upbeat traces, lends the music a Township air. Michael Heupel's flute is the most compelling voice amidst the unassuming melee mainly, because his role is largely unpremeditated. Christoph Haberer's drum solo is deft and colorful enough to make even that usually tiresome device listenable, and before the piece is out it becomes clear that this is a group akin to a sponge in terms of the influences it takes in even while it retains its own identity.

One of those might be the work of the Willem Breuker Kollektiv, a sadly missed leader and band for whom the past was something to plunder, as opposed to a place upon which to lay the cold, bloodless hand of reverence. Thus, "Paradise Lost" fizzes with the precedents of European brass bands and antique martial airs, but then confounds expectations with the ease in which it switches to that collective improvisation; one of this band's many strengths. Stein, the composer, is clearly very aware of all of them, hence the reason why this music hangs with such lively coherence.

Track Listing: Silent Sitting Bulls; Nondual Action; Paradise Lost; This Is You; Quantum Mechanics; Schleuderhonig (Strained Honey); Miao & Ciao; Hapana Lakini.

Personnel: Norbert Stein: tenor sax; Michael Heupel: flutes; Nicolao Valiensi: euphonium; Christoph Haberer: drums, wavedrum.

Title: Silent Sitting Bulls | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: PATA Music

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019
Read Music! Music! Music! Album Reviews
Music! Music! Music!
By Doug Collette
May 20, 2019
Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019