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The Jeff Kaiser Ockodektet and the Kaiser/Diaz-Infante Sextet: The Alchemical Mass/Suite Solutio

Jim Santella By

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Two progressive artists lead these ensembles in a creative affair. Quiet spaces are interwoven with loud cacophony. A group of orchestral instruments can be made to sound like many things. Here, Jeff Kaiser and Ernesto Diaz-Infante light creative fires and push their ensembles to the limit.

"The Alchemical Mass" combines the formal sounds of church with the kinds of natural motifs that are commonly found in native religious rites. Primal chants and tribal drums are mixed with the delicate performance of a refined chamber choir. The Ojai Camerata bends and shapes its vocal stylings in a search for new and creative ways to indicate religious zeal. Respects are paid as the choir and eleven-piece instrumental ensemble shed their reins. Emotions are bared, and the artists are given ample freedom. Solo voices include trumpet, trombone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, and piano. While the mass follows traditional norms, it contains much free motion and a fair amount of noise.

"Suite Solutio" swings gently with a fluid motion and relaxed freedom. Diaz-Infante's prepared guitar provides the ensemble with a natural timbre. While the five-part suite contains some noise, it proudly showcases freedom in creative jazz. Kaiser's expressive trumpet moans and wails with searing emotion. Jim Connolly's bowed bass mourns, while Diaz-Infante's guitar drives with upbeat energy. In part IV, the sextet distinguishes itself with the kind of blinding speed and virtuosic articulation that recall jazz's earliest pioneers. Scot Ray's trombone aria and Kaiser's tightly muted trumpet sequences prove effective in depicting the ensemble's driving forces.

Diaz-Infante and Kaiser are dedicated explorers.

Audio samples may be found at pfMENTUM's web site.


Track Listing: The Alchemical Mass: (Introitus; Kyrie; Collecta and Gloria; Epistola and Graduale; Offertorium; Ave Maria and Commune); Suite Solutio.

Personnel: The Jeff Kaiser Ockodektet with the Ojai Camerata: (Ockodektet: Jeff Kaiser - conductor; Vinny Golia, Eric Barber, Jason Mears- woodwinds; Kris Tiner- trumpet, flugelhorn; Michael Vlatkovich- trombone; Mark Weaver- tuba; Jim Connolly- bass; Ernesto Diaz-Infante- prepared acoustic guitar; Wayne Peet- acoustic piano; Brad Dutz- percussion; Richie West- drums. Camerata: Dr. Wyant Morton- conductor, Diane Bescke, Candace Delbo, Eleanor Land, Laura Johnson-Bickford, Lu Setnicka, Gwen Erickson, Lisa Gordon, Katherine Halsey, Holly Mitchem, Zoe Pietrycha, Carla Aiello, Jaye Hersh, J.B. White, Dave Farber, Jim Halverson, Kurt Meyer, Bill Wagner- vocals); Kaiser/Diaz-Infante Sextet: (Jeff Kaiser- trumpet, flugelhorn; Ernesto Diaz-Infante- prepared acoustic guitar; Scot Ray- trombone; Jim Connolly- bass; Brad Dutz- percussion; Richie West- drums.

Title: The Alchemical Mass/Suite Solutio | Year Released: 2004

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