Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Mark Dresser/Denman Maroney: Time Changes

152

Mark Dresser/Denman Maroney: Time Changes

By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Dresser/Denman Maroney: Time Changes
Listening to bassist Mark Dresser and pianist Denman Maroney's Time Changes is often like being in a car with someone trying to learn stick shift—smooth coasting is interrupted by sudden lurches, premature downshifts, or unexpected accelerations. To the musicians' credit, though, the music never stalls. By creating tension with so many rhythmically off-kilter sections, the passages where the music settles into a swinging groove come as a surprising relief.

The title should be taken literally. These complex arrangements by Dresser and Maroney focus on frequently shifting meters, tempos, and often polyrhythms among the instruments (percussionist Michael Sarin contributes on a number of tracks, as does mezzo-soprano Alexandra Montano). It's not the most immediately accessible album, but with repeated listenings the music becomes less abstract and warmer and more inviting.

The recording is weighted heavily toward rhythmic exploration and not harmonic or melodic development. Several of the tracks, like the ten-minute "One Plate and "Lateral Mass, take that exploration out to the border of free jazz, but they usually remain tethered by a rhythmic pattern.

Maroney plays what he calls "hyperpiano, which is acoustic, but he includes techniques that sound like playing and plucking the strings in different ways. He creates some interesting effects, getting those strings to sound slappy and scratchy and metallic, and there are some passages, when Dresser is also scratchily bowing his bass, where it's difficult to tell which instrument is which.

Montano's beautiful voice acts as a fourth instrument rather than assuming the role of vocal soloist, singing in plain syllables somewhere between scat and operatic recitative, sometimes doubling the piano.

Tracks to look out for include "M.C., with Montano's ever-climbing vocals and a Latin-ish vamp in the piano and bass; and the funky "Harkemony, probably the best all-out groove on the album, with plenty of polyrhythms and some wild "hyperpiano playing by Maroney.

Track Listing

Aperitivo; Pulse Field; Heap; M.C.; One Plate; Double You; Harkemony; Lateral Mass; Kilter; Between 17th and Bliss; Ekoneni.

Personnel

Mark Dresser
bass, acoustic

Mark Dresser: bass; Denman Maroney: hyperpiano; Michael Sarin: percussion and drums; Alexandra Montano: voice.

Album information

Title: Time Changes | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Cryptogramophone

Comments


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.

You Can 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

Blue Topaz
Peter Hand
Midnight Rose
Paul Rodgers
Open Me: A Higher Consciousness of Sound and...
Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Modern Art Trio
Franco D'Andrea, Franco Tonani, Bruno Tommaso.

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

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