285

Paul Grabowsky: Tales of Time and Space

Michael McCaw By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Grabowsky: Tales of Time and Space There is little question that for the public at large, pianist and bandleader Paul Grabowsky is the largest question mark when it comes to the personnel on this album. Holding company with Branford Marsalis, Joe lovano, Scott Tinkler, Ed Schuller, and Jeff "Tain" Watts is no small feat. And although the liner notes to Tales of Time and Space attempt to answer the question of who Grabowsky is, the just-under-fifty Australian pianist is more than a musician with wide ranging roots in jazz and film scoring, he's a consummate pianist and composer who warrants significant attention.

Aside from those facts, the other welcome surprise here is that although Tales is a one-off recording with a ton of talent—something that often results in a muddy or uninspired date—this is a tight ensemble with purpose and drive. Everyone shines and has his particular moments, but first and foremost they serve Grabowsky's music and vision. Recorded in 2003, Tales of Time and Space has the elegance of a modern straight-ahead jazz recording that one might hear in performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center, but the music also has depth and fire that can sometimes be lacking in such establishments.

Marsalis' command of the sometimes unwieldy soprano is inspired, continuing his impressive development of an individual voice on the instrument he has been cultivating more publicly of late. And while his quartet band mate Watts, the modern tenor giant Lovano, and the highly adaptive and imaginative bassist Schuller all turn in quality performances, Tinkler and his swaggering trumpet provide a particular voice that nearly eclipses them.

With a strong full sound and a background tying him with the leader, Tinkler more than holds his own on tracks like the opening "Tailfin, where he uses a plunger alongside Lovano and Marsalis, who states a theme that pulls in different directions of space and time following an opening drum solo that sets a locomotive pace. Grabowsky himself finally comes in following all this action underneath the band, and he almost immediately falls away when Tinkler races out front. Tinkler's articulation is crisp and never escapes him during his invigorating solo. He eventually pulls up his pace in time with the plaintive soprano that emerges behind him, eventually giving way to Grabowsky, who sounds somewhere between Kenny Barron's natural flow and Ran Blake's reductive use of space and sound.

There is little question why everyone involved was excited after the inspired take of "Tailfin. And the majority of the album follows suit. The one misstep, however, is the inclusion of a remix of "Silverland (dedicated to the Australian rock trio Silverchair). While it is an interesting track unto itself, with Watts mixed way up front, its inclusion here seems out of place with the overall feel of the album.

This quibble aside, Tales of Time and Space is an excellent recording for those who enjoy straight-ahead ensemble playing that straddles the mainstream jazz vernacular and a loose and outer-reaching feel.


Track Listing: Tailfin; Sideshow Sarabande; Silverland; Angel; Medium Rare; Wist; Reason And Rhyme; Updraft; Circle Of Trust; Silverland (Remix).

Personnel: Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone; Branford Marsalis: soprano saxophone; Scott Tinkler: trumpet; Paul Grabowsky: piano; Ed Schuller: acoustic bass; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Sanctuary Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Triadic Episode" CD/LP/Track Review Triadic Episode
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Nihil Novi" CD/LP/Track Review Nihil Novi
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "To The Universe" CD/LP/Track Review To The Universe
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "WAHOO!" CD/LP/Track Review WAHOO!
by Greg Simmons
Published: February 13, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!