36

Noshir Mody: Stories from The Years of Living Passionately

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Noshir Mody: Stories from The Years of Living Passionately A random sampling of Stories from The Years of Living Passionately could easily leave the impression that this is a hybrid of cool jazz, classical and world music. Even that broad an assumption would not be a comprehensive representation of Indian born Noshir Mody's complex, multi-layered collection of original music. A self-taught guitarist, he can invoke playing styles as diverse as Lee Ritenour, Pat Metheny or John Abercrombie yet his distinctive sound reveals no particular adherence to a form of playing or composing. Stories from The Years of Living Passionately comprises of pieces that are frequently reflective but with a force that resurfaces throughout the collection.

Mody's finely-tuned quintet greatly benefits from the presence of pianist Carmen Staaf. The 2009 winner of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Pianist Competition, she has performed as a guest soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra under Wynton Marsalis, and has worked with bassist Henry Grimes, trombonist/composer Bob Brookmeyer, and saxophonist George Garzone. Drummer and Japanese native Yutaka Uchida received noteworthy marks as leader on Living Together (Self-produced, 2007). Bassist John Lenis is no stranger to global guitar jazz having performed on Nobuki Takamen's Live at the Iridium (Summit Records, 2010). Rounding out the group is relative newcomer, saxophonist Tsuyoshi Niwa.

Stories from The Years of Living Passionately consists of five long pieces, the shortest being just under ten minutes. Mody allows each to unfold at a leisurely pace but the layers created by the quintet—individually and collectively—maintain and peak interest as the narratives play out. Opening with "The Next Chapter" Niwa's soprano gives way to a head-turning Latin infused romp from Staaf after which Mody picks up the theme, further improvising on it. Much of the early going on "Beckoned by Mercury" is a showcase for Niwa's technical capabilities but again, it is Staaf, whose lyricism and percussive effects emboldens the piece. The common thread in the first two pieces is Uchida's ability to direct the action flawlessly while maneuvering through multiple themes and tempos.

Staaf's classically influenced opening to "India," the sixteen-plus minute centerpiece of Stories from The Years of Living Passionately sets the stage for impressive performances all around. Mody's virtuosity and a fine Lenis solo precede a slightly discordant reset as multiple diversions appear unexpectedly. The album is fine example of impressionism with a distinctive style and an intriguing improvisational approach. The compositions and the musicianship, particularly Mody and Staaf, is first rate and as a whole Stories from The Years of Living Passionately is involving and engaging.

Track Listing: The Next Chapter; Beckoned By Mercury; India; A Pearl Discovers The Oyster; To Be in Your Thoughts.

Personnel: Noshir Mody: guitar; Tsuyoshi Niwa: soprano saxophone; Carmen Staaf: piano; John Lenis: bass; Yutaka Uchida: drums.

Title: Stories from The Years of Living Passionately | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Pandora's Bag CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Think Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Think Ahead
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!