174

Leroy Jenkins: The Art of Improvisation

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Leroy Jenkins' Driftwood rarely floats, but readily burns. In addition to the violinist leader, pianist Denman Maroney and percussionist Rich O'Donnell, Min Xiao-Fen joins on pipa, a four-stringed lute from 7th Century China. A classically trained musician, Xiao-Fen began improvising with the encouragement of John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith and Derek Bailey. The quartet roils with sound and ideas, frequently creating tones and timbres that seem anything but acoustic.

Jenkins and Xiao-Fen lead the momentum on "To Live, with O'Donnell busily beating and Maroney adding unusual acoustics from his prepared piano. Jenkins spins a ribbon of melody while Xiao-Fen deftly plucks plenty pizzicato. "To Sing offers each player an extended solo statement. Maroney opens with the piano prepared in such a way as to make the muted strings sound like they're sliding on their own. Jenkins enters keening high delicate spiraling tones. O'Donnell bubbles up out of deep sound, before settling on drums. Xiao-Fen begins subtly but digs in sounding like her instrument is looped. The others join for an ensemble finish.

After a fast start, To Run features a furious group improvisation that keeps all parties highly engaged. Jenkins slyly introduces "To Believe, a quieter ensemble piece that swells and retreats around Jenkins' probing bow.

Living up to its title, The Art of Improvisation features four bristling performances crafted in the moment by the highly attentive ensemble, merging and emerging through their shared creations.


Track Listing: To Live; To Sing; To Run; To Believe.

Personnel: Min Xiao-Fen: pipa, Leroy Jenkins: violin; Denman Maroney: piano; Rich O

Title: The Art of Improvisation | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Mutable Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Blue Canvas" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Canvas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 6, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.