All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

128

Andy Middleton: The European Quartet Live

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Andy Middleton is an intense saxophonist. He focuses on the core of the melody and then extrapolates it through its musicality and in the freer inventions of his imagination. Middleton who now lives in Vienna, has picked a new working band. They help forge interesting vignettes, with pianist Tino Derado bringing in his own tasteful expressions to blood the music even more.

Middleton takes his compositions, as well as the two that stem from traditional sources, on lengthy excursions. This gives him the space to indulge his playing as he shifts timbre, finds unusual harmonies, slips in and out of time signatures, and constructs interesting edifices. Playing both the tenor and soprano saxophone, he filters earthy motifs and gives the tunes a dynamic vigor.

Middleton borrows from other musical sources, reinventing the portrait by daubing it with his own colors, and shifts the dynamics of the palette. "Christus Factus," derived from a Gregorian chant, is given Middleton's own becoming grace. With Paul Imm bowing the bass, the saxophonist brings in a lilting cadence on soprano. He drinks deep of the melody and lets it flow—the emotion warm and palpable. Derado, the perfect cohort, weaves a tantalizing web, gently widening the perimeters without losing the link to the melody.

"Afghan Caravan Song" is based on ethnic Afghan music. Middleton works the tonality on soprano saxophone, making judicious use of space and time signatures. He adds a large dollop of lyricism and lets it all settle into a hypnotic charm. Once again Derado carves his own melodic path that sweeps in and across the original melody, after which Middleton comes back with intense, tensile lines. The tangent is surprising, yet effective.

Middleton's gift as a composer is evident throughout the other tracks, each with its own attraction. "Cherry Street" leaves a special mark, however, with its haunting melody and the quartet's transcendent playing.


Track Listing: Mister Jorge; Christus Factus; The Gate; Afghan Caravan Song; Cherry Street ; Up the River.

Personnel: Andy Middleton: saxophones; Tino Derado: piano; Paul Imm: bass; Alan Jones: drums.

Title: The European Quartet Live | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Q-Rious Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review
Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics CD/LP/Track Review
Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Invisible Atlas CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Atlas
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Blue Dream CD/LP/Track Review
Blue Dream
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
Still Dreaming
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 24, 2018
Read A New Beginning CD/LP/Track Review
A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Vessel in Orbit" CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two
by Chris May
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Absence" CD/LP/Track Review Absence
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 27, 2018
Read "Donora Autumn" CD/LP/Track Review Donora Autumn
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Strykin’ Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Strykin’ Ahead
by John Kelman
Published: September 2, 2017
Read "Baby Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Baby Talk
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2017