Home » Jazz Articles » Joe McPhee / Jamie Saft / Joe Morris / Charles Downs: Ticonderoga

24

Album Review

Joe McPhee / Jamie Saft / Joe Morris / Charles Downs: Ticonderoga

By

Sign in to view read count
Joe McPhee / Jamie Saft / Joe Morris / Charles Downs: Ticonderoga
The premise for this get together commenced with discussions by pianist Jamie Saft and bassist, guitarist Joe Morris who plotted to meld their influences from John Coltrane's Live at the Village Vanguard Again (Impulse, 1966) album, along with celebrated artists, trumpeter, reedman Joe McPhee and drummer Charles Downs. Moreover, the band moniker Ticonderoga is a Mohawk Indian word that translates into "junction of two waterways," signifying the transition from the artists' collective impressions and groupthink of the Coltrane set with an updated modality.

True to form, the musicians establish an open-ended forum on the first track, "Beyond Days." As Saft's temperance and stammering block chords are contrasted by McPhee's blistering sax lines, beefed up by Downs' punchy and sweeping patterns. Here, the artists' lucid imagery, concerning the dual waterways, comes to fruition via the fluid visual intimations. They alter the current but often do so with power and panache.

Joe Morris—performing solely on bass—is the commander with his pliant and dynamically motivated underpinnings, while McPhee's turbulent and buttery notes cast a conglomerate of disparate emotive aspects and dappled hues. On "Leaves of Certain," the band springs forward amid Saft's coy soloing along with a spunky pulse and linear storyline with jagged, free-spirited romps. But the frontline's acutely placed melodies spark an added dimension to the improv quotient.

"A Backward King," is the album closer, brimming with McPhee's soulful parts atop scrambling and searching metrics in addition to asymmetrical cadences and subtle reengineering processes or corpulent overtures. Nonetheless, the quartet's energized and undulating frameworks generate an abundance of persuasively developed propositions, regardless of what may be paralleled to Live at the Village Vanguard Again. Hence, the ensemble formulates a singularized, standalone musical statement.

Track Listing

Beyond Days; Simplicity of Man; Leaves of Certain; A Backward King.

Personnel

Joe McPhee: tenor and soprano saxophones; Jamie Saft: piano; Joe Morris: bass; Charles Downs: drums.

Album information

Title: Ticonderoga | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Local Businesses | More...

More

Alive at the Village Vanguard
Fred Hersch & Esperanza Spalding
Oasis
Rodney Whitaker
Invisible Resistances
Izumi Kimura & Cora Venus Lunny

Popular

Fractal Guitar 3
Stephan Thelen
Exude
Francesca Han & Ralph Alessi
Baker's Dozen
The Muffins
Blues & Bach: The Music Of John Lewis
Enrico Pieranunzi Trio & Orchestra

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.