219

John Schroder: Sir Lemuel's Dance

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
John Schroder: Sir Lemuel's Dance The cover of pianist John Schroder's Sir Lemuel's Dance showcases a peculiar detail that somehow makes perfect sense: a close-up photo of the leader's staring eye. It's far from unusual to have portraits of jazz musicians grace their album covers, but normally they're shown in full figure or at least with the whole face in front. Here it's just one eye—a detail taken out of context, yet one that fits into a greater picture: When the cover unfolds, Schroder's entire face is shown, thus making the part fit into the whole.

The same could be said about the music. At first encounter the music seems chaotic, yet there's an attention to detail that makes it hard to navigate through Schroder's knotty compositions. The opening "Rieselfaktor" swirls back and forth, with the leader's piano crashing as waves against a beach, while alto saxophonist Christian Weidner honks and screeches.

The chaos prevails on the title track, where snippets of melody surface among dense chords, but then something happens and a more regular groove is established. Bassist Oliver Potratz and drummer Oliver Steidle heat things up and a melodic theme develops. All the while, Schroder returns to freeform playing, interspersing bell-like tones and hard chordal blocks. A perfect balance arises between form and chaos, groove and abstract time, melody and dissonance.

The balance between form and chaos is maintained on tunes like "Mood 1697" and "Rubato." Once again, the most impressive thing about the quartet is the way it shifts between tempi. Each musician is able to turn on a dime and make the introspective moments shift into carefully controlled explosions. Schroder seems capable of anticipating the changing of form as each of the seemingly abstract pieces reveals an organic mosaic of sound.

Sir Lemuel's Dance isn't easy listening, but reveals form transcendent of the tired cliche of blues formulae. It may take a while to learn the dance but once it's seeped under the skin, the rewards returned are many.


Track Listing: Rieselfaktor; Sir Lemuel's Dance; Halbzeit; Mood 1697; Rubato; 7/01/1; Herbstzeitlos; Enibas.

Personnel: John Schroder: piano; Christian Weidner: alto saxophone; Oliver Potratz: bass; Oliver Steidle: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Pirouet Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "The Expanding Universe" CD/LP/Track Review The Expanding Universe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!