201

Edward Ratliff: Those Moments Before

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Edward Ratliff: Those Moments Before The cover of Those Moments Before features a poster of Marlene Dietrich advertising Josef von Sternberg's 1931 film Dishonored. While this album—New York-based multi-instrumentalist Edward Ratliff's third as a leader—isn't a soundtrack like the earlier Barcelona in 48 Hours (Strudelmedia, 2004) was, this date unfolds with the same degree of wild eclecticism and globe-trotting impetuousness as a proverbial soundtrack album.

Joined by a stellar cast of Downtown improvisers, Ratliff has an unlimited palette of sound at his disposal. The woodwind trio of Michael Attias, Beth Schenck, and Doug Wieselman cover every pitch range from clarinet to baritone saxophone, while guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Sean Conly, and keyboardist Wes Matthews alternate between electric and acoustic instruments. Add to this arsenal Take Toriyama's drum kit and the leader's accordion, cornet, trumpet, trombone, celeste, and programming, and you have limitless sonic possibilities.

Ratliff's liner notes detail the endless cultural diversity he experiences while traveling through Manhattan by bike, and how it influences his writing. Such limitless potential does not always go hand in hand with compositional clarity however, and it is to Ratliff's credit that the album succeeds at maintaining a sense of cohesion, considering the number of genres invoked.

The record's nostalgic mix of waltzes, tangos, klezmer, funeral marches, noir ballads, and funk is endlessly entertaining—and for the most part—impressively rendered. The lilting Old World waltz of "Cafe Cortado," the electrified funk of "Movin' On Over," and the zany klezmer jaunt "Veloce" are all infectiously ebullient. The somber dirge "Minimus" and the appropriately titled "Funeral March in the Style of Jean-Baptiste de Lully" are suitably melancholic. Only "Leon's Last Night," with its computerized synth washes and Milesian brass flourishes sounds at odds with the rest of the program.

Veering from one style to another, Those Moments Before presents Ratliff's chameleonic diversity in a wide-range of settings, yielding a cinematic ode to modern metropolitan living.


Track Listing: Cafe Cortado; End of an Era; Minimus; Movin' On Over; Veloce; Good Question; Well-Dressed and Elegant; Leon's Last Night; Funeral March in the Style of Jean-Baptiste de Lully; March for a Lost Cause; Kowloon Noir; Pinhole Ghost.

Personnel: Edward Ratliff: accordion, cornet, trumpet, trombone, celeste, programming; Michael Attias: alto and baritone saxophones; Beth Schenck: alto and soprano saxophones; Doug Wieselman: eb clarinet; Nate Radley: acoustic and electric guitar; Wes Matthews: piano and Hammond B3; Sean Conly: acoustic and electric bass; Take Toriyama: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Strudelmedia | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Forty" CD/LP/Track Review Forty
by James Nadal
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Guitar Stories: Slack Key & Beyond" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Stories: Slack Key & Beyond
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Factory Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Factory Girl
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Detour" CD/LP/Track Review Detour
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Another Day in Fucking Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Another Day in Fucking Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!