All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Related Articles

Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Chris May
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Remember Love CD/LP/Track Review
Remember Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Open Heart CD/LP/Track Review
Open Heart
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Steve Reich: Drumming CD/LP/Track Review
Steve Reich: Drumming
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2018
Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Eden" CD/LP/Track Review Eden
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 10, 2018
Read "Džiazlaif" CD/LP/Track Review Džiazlaif
by Vitalijus Gailius
Published: June 14, 2018
Read "Air Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Air Guitar
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 14, 2018
Read "Powell To The People" CD/LP/Track Review Powell To The People
by Jim Worsley
Published: May 16, 2018
Read "The Way Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Music in My Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Music in My Mind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 29, 2018