168

Aram Shelton Quartet: These Times

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
It is easy to admire the audacity of Aram Shelton's quartet. Not that the reedman writes insolent and defiant music; but given the attention-grab improvisers are facing today, he is so very loyal to the melody. This group is quartet subset of his Fast Citizens sextet, minus trumpet and cello, here, pairing things down to tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, bassist Anton Hatwich and drummer Marc Riordan.

While melody plays a large part in his other projects—like Dragons 1976, Ton Trio, and Arrive—they are all predisposed to be open platforms for freedom and flights of energy. Here, the quartet sets about to curb outward flights with the improvisers maintaining a loyalty to the themes.

Shelton and Jackson are a comfortable pairing, especially when the mixture is clarinet and saxophone. Their negotiating of the compositions is uncluttered and without competition. "Rings," a locomotive piece, begins with the players stating the theme, before the chug-a chug-a of the pulse, driven by Hatwich and Riordan opens into the two front men trading off in the drivers seat, gaining speed until the track pulls itself into the station. Likewis,e the rhythms of "Dusk" pulse like a loose basketball, losing, and then gaining momentum, as it bounces away from each player. Riordan keeps all the balls in the air, working his snare drums and cymbals to maintain the energy as Shelton and Jackson dribble their lines of energy.

When the pair both take up the saxophone, as on "Relief" and "Rise And Set," the cooperative effort takes on a bit more friendly vigor, each player pushing against the other to great effect. But there are no brawls or cutting contests here; the music adheres to the melodies. The push-and-pull always returns to some obedience to the themes.

These are musicians that are self-restrained yet ascendant, able to check their ego in service to the mastery of the moment.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Out On The Coast" CD/LP/Track Review Out On The Coast
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Shovel Down" CD/LP/Track Review Shovel Down
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Opening Statement" CD/LP/Track Review Opening Statement
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin" CD/LP/Track Review Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin
by Doug Collette
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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