Tobias Delius / Olie Brice / Mark Sanders: Somersaults

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Any lineup which contains reedman Tobias Delius deserves attention. Born in England to an Argentinean father and a German mother, Delius was a longtime staple of the adventurous Amsterdam scene before his relocation to Berlin in 2007, though he's still a fixture with the ICP Orchestra. On Somersaults, he teams up with the talented British rhythm tandem of bassist Olie Brice and drummer Mark Sanders, who also helm the wonderful Riverloam Trio with Polish reedman Mikolaj Trzaska. As a threesome they specialize in a conversational brand of low key free jazz that veers off at tangents depending on individual whim.

Inevitably Delius' unconventional style exerts a major influence. He revels in trills, overtones, muffled asides, vocalized mutters and wavering cries. His light airy lines seem to be assembled from a series of sometimes unrelated outbursts which don't necessarily act as developmental material. However the trio nonetheless convinces as an egalitarian unit in that each player affects the direction taken. Sanders ably achieves motion without sacrificing tone and color, while Brice conducts a constant counterpoint to the saxophonist. They still maintain their jazz roots in terms of language and roles, but stretch them as far as possible without breaking the mould.

Each of the three cuts from this 2014 studio session dips into the same well, starting with brief colloquial gestures and evolving organically from there. The expansive 31-minute plus "like a creature let loose in a room" provides the fullest example of the group's range. One notable passage occurs 23 minutes in as Brice muscular pizzicato stakes out the foregrounds, answered by Sanders' rumbling toms and Delius' skew whiff clarinet groans in a pulsing stop/start cavalcade. It's the perfect illustration of one of the things that makes the band so captivating: the unpredictability of where Delius and his colleagues will go and how they will respond to each other's promptings. And isn't that what jazz is all about?

Track Listing: "Travel all day on trains and bring a lot of books"; "bones shake like sticks"; "like a creature let loose in a room".

Personnel: Tobias Delius: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Olie Brice: double bass; Mark Sanders: drums.

Title: Somersaults | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Two Rivers Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Avenida Graham" CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "For Massas" CD/LP/Track Review For Massas
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Goin' Your Way" CD/LP/Track Review Goin' Your Way
by Doug Collette
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Code Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Collection Three: Spells (2014-2015)" CD/LP/Track Review Collection Three: Spells (2014-2015)
by Jim Olin
Published: October 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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