3

Avi Granite's Verse: Snow Umbrellas

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Avi Granite's Verse: Snow Umbrellas Snow Umbrellas is guitarist/composer Avi Granite's third album as leader, as well as the debut from his New York quartet, Verse. Released on Granite's own Pet Mantis Records, the album features trumpeter Ralph Alessi, bassist Jerry Devore and drummer Owen Howard on a set of Granite's original compositions that range from the free, improvised feel of "Four for 4" and "Tricycle Dreams" to more danceable tunes, via one or two gentle and romantic numbers.

"Y Not" gets into its danceable groove after a short and pretty duet between Alessi and Granite, with a few excursions into brief, rockier, phases. "Charlie's Shorts" has a similar feel, centering on DeVore's funky bass line. Together, they're the album's most upbeat and immediate tunes. In the musical middle ground are tracks such as "Like John," which ambles cheerfully along, its easy-going ambiance at first hiding the skilful interplay between Granite and Alessi.

"Wayne Winks At The Radio" opens with Granite's solo guitar—a rare example of the guitarist grabbing the limelight—before he moves over to let Alessi's trumpet take the lead. "Mortetia" also ambles, but DeVore's loping, repetitive bass and Howard's skittering cymbals give its movement a more threatening edge.

"Barnacles" is a surprise. The title suggests something rough-edged—a bit hard to grasp—but this is the loveliest composition on the album: Alessi's mournful, muted trumpet floats over Granite's simple, repeated guitar phrase and DeVore and Howard's oddly affecting rhythms to create a graceful and romantic tune.

Given the obvious talents of the musicians it's rather surprising that Snow Umbrellas is a relatively subdued affair, with the quartet seldom moving beyond mid-tempo and never engaging in any real musical excesses. On the one hand, this means that the flow and mood of the music is fairly constant, lacking a little variation. On the other, there is never any sense that the players are letting displays of technical ability triumph over their musical sensibility.

The album is described in the press release as a "modern audio-film." It's an odd and not especially helpful description, but the music readily stands on its own. Snow Umbrellas contains plenty of intriguing ideas and adept musicianship—enough to make Granite's future projects worth watching for.


Track Listing: O Blues; Y Not; Mortetia; Like John; Charlie's Shorts; Wayne Winks At The Radio; Four for 4; Tricycle Dreams; Barnacles.

Personnel: Avi Granite: guitar; Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Jerry DeVore: bass; Owen Howard: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Pet Mantis Records | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Related Video

Shop


Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

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 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 Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Meets Batida" CD/LP/Track Review Meets Batida
by James Nadal
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Continuum" CD/LP/Track Review Continuum
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Open The Curtains" CD/LP/Track Review Open The Curtains
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 16, 2016

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!