All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

213

Chris Gestrin / Ben Monder / Dylan van der Schyff: The Distance

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Tony Reif, the head of Songlines, conspired with Vancouver International Jazz Festival promoter Ken Pickering to organize a concert featuring invited guest guitarist Ben Monder playing in an improvised trio format with the established duo of percussionist Dylan van der Schyff and pianist Chris Gestrin. Van der Schyff and Gestrin have a history of playing together, but Monder was new to their musical axis. The concert was recorded and two trio improvisations from a rehearsal later that day were added to create The Distance.

Whether or not the trio clicked enough to regroup can only be answered by the participants, but musically, they share an obvious symbiotic rapport that could easily be fit for further investigation.

These three generate a abstract, ethereal, floating, open-ended sound world not far removed from the classic ECM sound. There is an undeniably Frisellian sheen to some of this, but Monder is an unapologetically cerebral player, and his explorations needn't maintain earthbound contact for sustenance, unlike Frisell's more traditional work. Gestrin's playing has an impressionistic but exploratory angle, occasionally using prepared piano techniques to extend his sound palette. Van der Schyff is quickly becoming a ubiquitous presence, and his colorful washes and interpolations demonstrate why he is so in demand lately.

The majority of the program is one of relaxed introspection and pastoral reflection, as demonstrated by the pensive call and response of the opening "Ferns." There are however, more varied and dynamic moments within. The lyrical title track is the most structurally precise tune, with hints of Paul Bley and Pat Metheny at its core. "Treacle" is frenzied without being overly noisy, all staccato runs and frenetic group interplay. "Extrinsic" brings a welcome bit of noise from Monder's distorted guitar and Gestrin's metallic prepared piano, but things really heat up on van der Schyff and Monder's burnout performance of "Dark Engine." Monder lets loose feedback-drenched sheets of sound and van der Schyff follows suit for an electric meltdown that is as exhilarating as the pastoral beauty of "#47" is serene.

Whether or not The Distance spurs on a new working relationship between these three players, this document exists to cherish.


Track Listing: Ferns; Treacle; #47; Dark Engine; Treant; View from the Road; Extrinsic; The Distance; Voice in the Night; Second Approximation.

Personnel: Chris Gestrin: piano, prepared piano, bells; Ben Monder: electric guitar; Dylan van der Schyff: drums, percussion.

Title: The Distance | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Gegenschein CD/LP/Track Review
Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Perception CD/LP/Track Review
Perception
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 15, 2018
Read DeiCont | Philips Collective CD/LP/Track Review
DeiCont | Philips Collective
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Cooking Groove CD/LP/Track Review
Cooking Groove
by Jim Olin
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Heaven & Earth CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven & Earth
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Heart Of Brazil CD/LP/Track Review
Heart Of Brazil
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 14, 2018
Read "Love & Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Painted Pillars" CD/LP/Track Review Painted Pillars
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 7, 2018
Read "Tasty Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review Tasty Tunes
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "The Groove Hunter" CD/LP/Track Review The Groove Hunter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 24, 2018
Read "Marseille" CD/LP/Track Review Marseille
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Honey And Salt" CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 10, 2017