6

Ensemble 5: Solstice

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Heinz Geisser's robust discography for Leo Records implies an active mind on the loose via his firm footing in the avant spectrum. He now expands his Collective 4tet to Ensemble 5, offering a combination of youth and experience coalescing into an idea factory of sorts. No two pieces sound distinctly alike, which is not always the case with many other free-reign albums of this ilk. With a broad baseline laid out, the unit's fluctuating momentum, blustery choruses, sinuously designed improvisational jaunts, and microtonal explorations are among many descriptors or attributes, executed throughout.

"Out of a Dew Drop" is perhaps a study in investigating minimalism, where each band member takes on a specific role. Featuring Reto Staub's trickling piano notes, concise horns statements and a vast plane of musical notions, the band also merges tumultuous and chatty exchanges, morphing into a bursting free-jazz romp. And Geisser's compelling free-form drumming poses a holistic backdrop. Even when he's providing subtle asymmetrical accompaniment, he manages to devise subliminal beats that are regimented and deceptively complex. This factor adds an additional layer to the rhythmic components.

The musicians alternate between hyper-motion, stilted progressions, and circular movements, all instilled with fragmented breakouts amid the proverbial peaks and valleys. Geisser often resides on top of the pulse and serves as a catalyst and colorist. However, they turn the tide on "Stand Clear," which is a hip, loose-groove piece, shaded with a touch of pathos thanks to trombonist Robert Morgenthaler's warbling lines. And they add another dimension with reverse-engineering mechanics, moving forward. From an avant-garde perspective, Ensemble 5 embraces a great deal of fertile musical space. The artists' intuitive dialogues and willingness to transcend the norm is quite apparent from start-to-finish.

Track Listing: In Short; I'll Snag You; Out of a Dew Drop; Solstice; Innuendo; Stand Clear; Why Five; 4's.

Personnel: Heinz Geisser: percussion; Fridolin Blumer: double bass; Reto Staub: piano; Robert Morgenthaler: trombone; Vincent Daoud: tenor and soprano saxophones.

Title: Solstice | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Leo Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Far From Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far From Over
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Soul Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Trio
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.