Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

149

Daniel Levin Quartet: Some Trees

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
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).

Title: Some Trees | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Bad Hombre" CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "From the Nocturnal Chironian" CD/LP/Track Review From the Nocturnal Chironian
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Music From Our Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Music From Our Soul
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Extremophile" CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Eyles
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "II" CD/LP/Track Review II
by Kevin Press
Published: November 7, 2017