130

Andy McWain Quartet: Starfish

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Andy McWain Quartet: Starfish The textures on Starfish have a tight weave, threads tinctured with the darker hues. And though the weave is a close one, the overall fabric has an elastic quality, allowing for the stretch of improvisation and a four way convergence of ideas.

If they gave a Grammy for music that demands and rewards the listener's attention, Starfish would be a sure nominee.

Andy McWain's piano work can be delicate and feather light, then seismically percussive, sometimes in the same song; and reedman Assif Tsahar (bass clarinet, tenor sax) sizzles then broods, propels while fresh ideas stab in from the other three corners. The impression that won't let go after multiple listenings is Classical music, modern mode; chamber sounds, with jazz teeth. No instrument dominates the mix; the ensemble is the instrument. The recent music of Vijay Iyer ( Panoptic Modes ) or The Maneri Ensemble ( Going to Church ) are probably the closest comparisons, but Starfish is denser, leaning more heavily on the melodic component, possessed of a strikingly intricate noir-ish beauty.

Dynamic sounds. Two cuts—"Thorn Tea Jar" and "Pure Iris Chord"—appear in two parts, separated on the CD. These cycles represent a revisitation of themes that may evolve in the direction of jazz suites.

McWain and crew are a phenomenon, a very exciting discovery.

www.fullerstreetmusic.com


Track Listing: Periodic Stasis Amid Torrent, Duo Interlude, Thorn Tea Jar (I), As a Starfish, Pure Iris Chord (I), Wind Can May, Toxins (Parts I-III), Thorn Tea Jar (II), Pure Iris Chord (II), Another Dynamic Starfish Precursor

Personnel: Andy McWain, piano; AssifTsahar, tenor sax and bass clarinet; Noah Jarrett, bass; Chris Poudrier, drums

Title: Starfish | Year Released: 2003


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "New Birth" CD/LP/Track Review New Birth
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Times and Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Times and Tides
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Gold
by Jim Olin
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Ella Lives" CD/LP/Track Review Ella Lives
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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