234

Daniel Levin: Some Trees

By

Sign in to view read count
Daniel Levin: Some Trees Cellist Daniel Levin expands the compositional and improvisational palettes of modern jazz on Some Trees with a provocatively assembled group of adventurous musicians and pieces. Without a drummer, this group is able to rethink the dynamics and dialectic of a "jazz" group and find new phrasing, spacing and modes of interaction.

All of the players contribute vitally to this "re-mix": trumpeter Nate Wooley makes all of his effects—half-valving, dirty muting, etc.—work towards finding the optimal colors; vibraphonist Matt Moran plays up the percussive aspects of his instrument and suggests the Bobby Hutcherson of the '60s, while also seeking new intervals and note placement; bassist Joe Morris is a solid foundation but also a very free, floating entity; and the leader uses formidable technique and an open mind to provide worlds of possibilities for the tunes, the musicians, and his own creative impulses.

This disc has roots in the Third Stream, as well as Mingus, Dolphy, Lacy and other pioneers of this new music. Like the trees in the John Ashbery poem from which Levin draws his inspiration, this music has the wild chaos of nature somehow centered in a sense of harmonious majesty.

Levin composed six of the eight tunes, and they sparkle with the surprise of the new. The proceedings begin with his "It's For You, in which the instruments emerge as if out of some primal setting and offer themselves in bold, spiky bursts. That setting is never truly lost, but each of the players is inventively seeking individual identities. They succeed and yet present a group identity as well.

Just when we're beginning to get our bearings in the new landscape, we hear a familiar organization of notes. It's the title tune from Eric Dolphy's seminal 1964 Out to Lunch session, and it's startling in its structured anarchy. The quartet rings all sorts of new emphases on these changes before returning—in newly-spaced quarters—to the theme.

And so it goes—with Levin and his mates forging new relationships between themselves and their instruments. The closer—sans vibes—is a haunting and unpredictable reading of another new music standard, Ornette's "Morning Song.


Track Listing: Morning It's For You; Out To Lunch; Some Trees; Sitting On His Hands; Zolowski; Wild Palms; Wickets; Song.

Personnel: Nate Wooley: trumpet; Daniel Levin: cello; Joe Morris: bass; Matt Moran: vibraphone (1-7).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Hatology | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Dark Territory" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Territory
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "Out On The Coast" CD/LP/Track Review Out On The Coast
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Taylor Street" CD/LP/Track Review Taylor Street
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Live 1978 at The Old Waldorf" CD/LP/Track Review Live 1978 at The Old Waldorf
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 5, 2016
Read "An Eclipse Of Images" CD/LP/Track Review An Eclipse Of Images
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "King Of Xhosa" CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 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!