179

Erik Friedlander: Skin

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Erik Friedlander: Skin The 90s will be remembered for many things when it comes to jazz. One of the most striking trends that surfaced during the decade was a resurgence in Klezmer music spearheaded by a community of New York based improvisers. Through their diligent efforts the music is not only enjoying a renaissance, it is also being stretched and reshaped in fresh and untried ways. John Zorn remains arguably the most publicized player among their number and his numerous Masada projects are regarded by many as the flagships for the movement, but there are a host of other musicians that are also striking out on bold paths. Friedlander is one such innovator. He also happens to be a frequent participant in Zorn’s various projects. This disc is the second offering from his core quartet, the first being last year’s ‘Topaz.’

The program is a scintillating balance of original compositions alongside readings of tunes by composers as diverse as Mingus, Mancini and Santana. Over the course of the tracks the group moves far beyond the traditional boundaries of both jazz and Klezmer creating a vacillating music that is wholly of their own design. Along the way there are a multitude of thrilling exchanges and ingenious rhythmic suspensions that effectively maintain a feeling of tension. Takeishi adheres solely to electric bass. The deeply rounded resonance he conjures the amplified strings is an unexpected pleasure as well as a key component in the rhythmic strength of the group. His brother’s sensitive percussion is an ideal compliment and the pair’s solid underpinning allows Friedlander and Laster to sail dynamically on top. Friedlander’s bow is one of the most expressive in the business. His intricate arco lines are a constant source of stupefication and appeal. As the fourth corner of the quartet Laster’s alto provides a brilliantly rousing voice. His upper register labyrinth of lines on the title track is a study in deftly controlled dissonance.

Old World sonorities pervade on “Sahel Va Danya” and “White Mountain” with the entrance of Fedoriouk’s cymbalom embellishments. Friedlander’s other guests, the Atlas Cello Quartet, crop up on the placid “Reflections,” which still retains an underlying atmosphere of tension within the web of precisely bowed strings. Friedlander plugs in during the laconic funk of “Fekunk” shaving off vaporous electric lines alongside Takeishi’s stout bass. Fedoriouk returns on the group’s rendition of Mingus’ classic “Eclipse” and the brittle cascading notes of his instrument add a decided delicacy to the piece. Santana’s “Golden Dawn” may seem like strange fodder for Friedlander to test his mettle on, but it works exceedingly well. His fragile pizzicato improvisations evoke an enduring beauty and are an ideal closer for the disc.


Title: Skin | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Brassland


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Traffic" CD/LP/Track Review Traffic
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Varanda" CD/LP/Track Review Varanda
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "House Of Waters" CD/LP/Track Review House Of Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings" CD/LP/Track Review The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings
by Doug Collette
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by John Sharpe
Published: November 23, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.