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Collin Sherman: Suitable Benchmarks of Reform


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Collin Sherman: Suitable Benchmarks of Reform
Multi-reedist Colin Sherman's thirteenth album, Suitable Benchmarks Of Reform, was made from the same template from which his previous twelve releases came into being—recording alone in his New York City apartment, recording the individual parts then layering each onto the next to make an ensemble sound. This, in the time of the arrival of the Covid virus, has become a more common practice; it is just that Sherman got a head start on the go-it-alone process.

Call it free jazz. As Sherman is primarily a saxophonist, there is a good deal of honking and squawking going on—especially with the first three tunes, with various reeds squalling along with electronic embellishments, percussion and keyboard parts. Improvisation is front and center, in Sherman's ongoing search for truth and beauty. "Phalanx Strictures," "Rival Machinations" and "Worthless Objects And Photographs Thereof" seem to express a state of unsettlement and psychological turbulence.

The four part "Rumination Suite" is a different matter. Representing an arc of burgeoning self awareness, each piece is built around the soprano saxophone and the bass tongue drum—and for those not familiar with the instrument, it is not played with the tongue, it is rather a drum, metal or wood, featuring "tongues" carved into its surface that, when struck, present different tones. In Sherman's hands, on the suite, it sounds like God's heartbeat, an underlying and immutable truth that serves as a spiritual foundation for a tranquil soundtrack to human existence, brought into beiing in a small NYC apartment. Hopefully, the neighbors are listening.

Track Listing

Phalanx Strictures; Rival Machinations; Worthless Objects and Photographs Thereof; Rumination Suite, Mvt. I: Meditation on Resentment; Rumination Suite, Mvt. II: Faults and Missteps; Rumination Suite, Mvt. III: Things Turn Around; Rumination Suite, Mvt. IV: Foundations of Serenity.


Collin Sherman
saxophone, alto
Additional Instrumentation

Collin Sherman: soprano saxophone; Bb soprano clarinet; bass clarinet; oboe; keyboards/synthesizers; electric guitar; drum programming.

Album information

Title: Suitable Benchmarks of Reform | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Ex-tol Recordings

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