Home » Jazz Articles » Greg Germann: Tales of Time

10
Album Review

Greg Germann: Tales of Time

By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Germann: Tales of Time
Tales of Time is the sort of album musicians are most apt to dissect and appreciate. New York-based drummer Greg Germann uses various time signatures to subdivide eleven of his original compositions, building a strong rhythmic platform from which to launch his assorted themes. Germann supervises a quartet whose other members are tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, pianist Luis Perdomo and bassist Yasushi Nakamura (singer Chelsea Forgenie is front and center on the ballad "Time to Move On").

If rhythmic variations alone were enough to win the day, Germann and Co. would be home free. But rhythm, essential as it is, serves only as a substratum, relying heavily upon a handsome thematic overlay and keen improvisational skills to suitably wrap the musical package. While Germann's compositions are never less than agreeable, there aren't many that rise further—and after a vigorous start ("Rush Hour," "Bli-Fi"), the mood becomes placid, even introspective, although "Misinformation" gathers momentum after a quiet beginning, "Fuguearella" does the same, and there's a brisk tempo change midway through "Rosetta Stone."

Whatever the pace or penchant, Germann, Perdomo and Nakamura bend their shoulders to the wheel, ensuring a steady rhythmic pulse. Perdomo is an admirable soloist as well, on piano or Fender Rhodes ("Quarantine," "Misinformation"). He's especially bright and pleasing on "Fuguearella." As for McCaslin, even though technically flawless, his anomalous solos are admittedly an acquired taste. He has plenty to say; one only wishes he would say it more quietly, and in a lower register. Once past that, McCaslin more than pulls his weight. "Time to Move On" is no doubt well-meaning, but like most contemporary songs, its lyric is nondescript, as is Forgenie's vocal.

Germann set out with a definite plan in mind ("each song tells a story") and more than likely reached his goal. There are stories here; it remains for the listener to apprehend their purpose and determine their merit. From one observer's perspective, the plots may be uneven but their substance overrides any weaknesses.

Track Listing

Rush Hour; Bli-Fi; Quarantine; Fugue for Thought; Park Terrace Waltz; Perspectives; Time to Move On; Misinformation; Elysia; Fuguearella; Rosetta Stone.

Personnel

Greg Germann: drums; Donny McCaslin: saxophone, tenor; Luis Perdomo: keyboards; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Chelsea Forgenie: voice / vocals.

Album information

Title: Tales of Time | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Origin Records


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Spirituality
Courtney Pine
Speakers In The House
The Headhunters
Grow
Kaja Draksler, Susana Santos Silva
Live From the Heat Dome
Thomas Marriott

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.