Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

206

Todd Sickafoose: Tiny Resistors

By

Sign in to view read count
With lush orchestrations of finely honed compositions, bassist Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors reveals a broad musical vision. A stalwart of the new music scene, playing improv and indie-rock projects and blurring those distinctions, Sickafoose's third CD highlights his maturation as a composer and talents as a multi-instrumentalist, with pieces incorporating a swath of stylistic influences—rock, Americana, jazz, blues and touches of modern classical.

Sickafoose works a sweeping aural range, with instrumentation that includes two guitars, drums and auxiliary percussion, trumpet, tenor saxophone, trombone and violin (in addition to guests on baritone sax and voice). But the music is never overpowering, as the leader carefully uses instrumental groupings for timbral contrast and counterpoint and is not afraid to leave some out for stretches. A repeating bass figure opens "Future Flora," as both guitars and drums cushion the cagey violin and a hint of Sickafoose's overdubbed vibes before the horns' slick phrase shifts the tune's direction, quickening the pace.



On the sprawling "Bye Bye Bees," plucked violin and bells play one rhythm against that of the guitar and percussion. The second guitar articulates the melodic line amid the whorled sonic layers and guest Ani Difranco's effected voice and spoken word commentaries bridge sections, while the horns pick up the melody. Sickafoose's spare piano introduces the elegiac "Pianos of the 9th Ward" and later subtly duets with his bass, the tune building emotion with Shane Endsley's muted trumpet. The leader embroiders with bells, vibes/marimba and various keys, emphasizing melodies or thickening the rhythms, each new sound supporting a composition's overall construction.

Similarly, the improvisations serve the narrative flow and are not about grandstanding. Andrew Bird's violin soars during the elegant "Cloud of Dust" and the pastoral "Whistle," with its quirky piano phrase and acoustic guitar filigrees from Adam Levy. Levy also stretches out on the swanky "Paper Trombones," with Simon Lott's shuffled snare propelling him and Alan Ferber's swaggering trombone.

In performance at New York's the Knitting Factory on May 13, 2008, the music lost some of its nuance with the modified instrumentation of single guitarist Mike Gamble, no sax and Sickafoose solely on acoustic bass. But the strong themes burst through and with more space, the improvs ventured further, particularly those of Endsley and subbing violinist Jenny Scheinman. Free sections alluding to the composed material bridged a medley of "Future Flora," "Serpentine" (an earlier composition) and "Paper Trombones," illustrating the flexibility inherent within the compositions.


Track Listing: Future Flora; Invisible Ink, Revealed; Bye Bye Bees; Pianos of the 9th Ward; Everyone is Going; Cloud of Dust; Warm Stone; Paper Trombones; Whistle; Tiny Resistors; Barnacle.

Personnel: Shane Endsley: trumpet; Ben Wendel: tenor sax, bassoon; Alan Ferber: trombone; Skerik: baritone sax (5,8); Adam Levy: guitar, acoustic guitar; Mike Gamble: guitar, effects; Allison Miller: drums (2,3,11), percussion (5-10); Simon Lott: drums (1, 4-10), percussion (2,3,11); Andrew Bird: violin, looping, whistling; Ani Difranco: voice, telephone mic (3), electric ukulele (4); Todd Sickafoose: acoustic and electric bass, piano, wurlitzer, vibraphone, marimba, bells, celeste, accordion through a Leslie.

Title: Tiny Resistors | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Cryptogramophone


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "WashAshore" CD/LP/Track Review WashAshore
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Tales From A Forbidden Land" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From A Forbidden Land
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "The Things We Did Last Summer" CD/LP/Track Review The Things We Did Last Summer
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Doug Collette
Published: July 1, 2017
Read "Open Book" CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Doug Collette
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Secret Language" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017

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!