442

Mauger: The Beautiful Enabler

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Mauger: The Beautiful Enabler Mauger, which is a word defined simply as "in spite of or in opposition to, notwithstanding," begs the questions as to what this marvelous trio opposes. It's definitely not creativity or cooperation. Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway make music in spite of the dumbing down of the popular music culture, notwithstanding the current trends in the market. It makes no difference what title this band chooses, its bold effort stands alone as a stellar piece of originality and inventiveness.

The veterans, bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Gerry Hemingway, are probably best known as half of Anthony Braxton's famous quartet of the 1980/90s with Marilyn Crispell. Their jazz credentials are without question, whether playing in the New York scene or some free improvisations in Europe. The third member, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa is a rising star whose playing is influenced by his Indian heritage and formed at Berklee and in DePaul University's music programs. He distinguished himself on recordings with pianist Vijay Iyer and on his own Codebook (2006) and Mother Tongue (2004), both on Pi Recordings.

This session for Clean Feed Records is Dresser and Mahanthappa's first, but the fifth for Hemingway. The trio's approach, a more open improvisational over composition logic, fits the label's mission statement.

The disc opens with "Acuppa" a post-hard-bop piece that orients towards Ornette Coleman as channeled through 21st century Brooklyn jazz. The groove dominates, falling easily in line with the trio. As the disc proceeds, less is blatantly revealed as improvisation and openness prevail.

The title track is a pecking note dance of intricacies reminiscent of Mahanthappa's recordings. The logic of the composition is mathematical yet open and quite free. The saxophonist's composition "Intone" opens with his solo playing a progression of wavering notes that calls his partners to also wander in and out of the mist of this tune.

Likewise, Dresser opens "I'll See You When I Get There" bowing some off-kilter notes before Hemingway skids in with some cymbal scratching. Far removed from meaningless dribble, Mahanthappa ties the music together with urgent notes that smear the windshield of this track. Throughout, his playing, with its forceful manner and clear notes, recall the late Jackie McLean.

The assertiveness of Mahanthappa's playing is the signature of this recording. Without the knowledge and experience of his playing partners, the excellence of this recording might never have been realized.

Visit Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway on the web.

Track Listing: Acuppa; Bearings; Flac; Intone; The Beautiful Enabler; I'll See You When I Get There; Meddle Music.

Personnel: Gerry Hemingway: drums; Mark Dresser: bass; Rudresh Mahanthappa: alto saxophone.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Matthew Halsall: On the Go (Special Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Matthew Halsall: On the Go (Special Edition)
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Windows" CD/LP/Track Review Windows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Southern Lights" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Lights
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 26, 2016
Read "Reciprocity" CD/LP/Track Review Reciprocity
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.