149

Daniel Levin Quartet: Some Trees

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Daniel Levin Quartet: Some Trees
This group sets out a highly individual stall within the market of creative improvised music, not simply through the use of unusual instrumentation—and to the extent that even when these musicians tackle compositions by Eric Dolphy, Steve Lacy and Ornette Coleman, they bring to them a refreshing depth of personal interpretation and expression.

Levin's own compositions might also have been written with this group in mind, so strong is their sense of identity. The balance, and indeed the creative tension, between them and the external pieces make for something of a manifesto, the overall effect of which is that of a group eager to acknowledge one strand of the collective musical past at the same time as it ploughs its own furrow.

On the title track, Matt Moran's vibraphone only tangentially evokes the spirit of, say, Walt Dickerson, at the same time as his lines have about them the air of a musician who has found his own voice and the methodology to deploy it effectively. The involvement of two string players (Joe Morris' bass and the leader's cello) most obviously enhances "Sitting On His Hands," where trumpeter Nate Wooley's contribution is measured in terms of the stealth through which it catches the listener's attention.

It might just be, however, that the quartet doesn't quite grasp the full quirkiness of Lacy's "Wickets," and the division between theme statement and improvisation seems just a little forced. Wooley, however, proves tantalising in terms of just what might have been had he ever had the opportunity to serve in one of Lacy's bands.

If any overall criticism can be made of what's on offer here, then it could be said that the music seems a little too self-conscious in places. This does not alter the fact that this is a singular programme of music put across by musicians with a deep commitment to it.

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).

Album information

Title: Some Trees | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hat Hut Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Pachamama
Phisqa
Elsewhere
Keisuke Kishi
Old Souls
The KUH Trio
Other Worlds
Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Soundprints
Mono No Aware
Roberto Pianca Sub Rosa
Live at NIR Studios
Georg Graewe, Kjell Nordeson, Jon Raskin Trio

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.