Jacám Manricks: Trigonometry

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Jacám Manricks: Trigonometry This album, like the branch of math where it gets its names, deals with angles and relationships from different sides. Saxophonist/composer Jacám Manricks enjoys creating some rhythmic friction—using different combinations of instruments and musicians within his group—while also treating each piece like a fresh canvas, ready to be turned into high art. His pleasing and pure-toned sound is used to create a hybrid style that owes as much to classical saxophone writing and left-of-center jazz work as it does to straight ahead music.

The title track establishes Manricks as the leader—as his saxophone is front and center while elegantly gliding over the groove in seven—but up-and-coming drummer Obed Calvaire also gets to flex his musical muscles, creating a rumbling avalanche of a solo over the vamp near the close of the tune. Pianist Gary Versace throws some soulful licks into the introduction of "Cluster Funk," and—along with Calvaire and bassist Joe Martin—establishes a churchy-meets-quirky funk groove in seven. Trumpeter Scott Wendholt is right with the rhythm section in terms of mood and direction but Manricks follows him and—with a snake charmer statement at the top of his solo—indicates that he'll be going in another direction.

"Nucleus" begins with some interlocking phrases from various members of the ensemble and a luxuriant blend between the different instrumental voices in the group. Fresh harmonies and a unique writing style—rather than a strong melodic core—move this intriguing piece forward. While Manricks' soloing is absorbing here, the music reaches its emotional peak when Calvaire burns at the end of the track and bursts of sound come shooting out of the horns. Eric Dolphy's "Miss Ann" is the lone cover on this album of, otherwise, original material and Manricks uses the opportunity to work within the piano-less trio format. Calvaire's superb swing drives the song and Manricks' sprinting saxophone work and Martin's rhythmically charged soloing are a treat.

The awkward rhythmic gait of "Sketch" is like an aural representation of a menacing giant lurking around. The lopsided nature of the main rhythmic riff is both unsettling and extremely hip at the same time. Hushed, mournful tones escape from Manricks' saxophone, working over a gentle piano and bass presence, on "Mood Swing." Hypnotic, undulating eighth notes from Versace provide a cushion for Manricks before the piano enters the foreground for a loose solo excursion. An off-kilter, arcing bass riff underscores "Combat" and provides the foundation for Manricks and Versace to do some exploring. "Micro Gravity" begins with a somber, classically-infused saxophone working over a sparse piano part. Calvaire's drums-in-the-distance marching cadence enters and a repetitive bass riff keeps things in line for a while. Versace delivers a Philip Glass-like arpeggiated line for a bit and Manricks returns with some more saxophone soul searching. Superb saxophone work, intellectually stimulating writing and ingeniously dovetailed rhythmic lines are the three sides that form the musical shape on Trigonometry.

Track Listing: Trigonometry; Cluster Funk; Slippery; Nucleus; Miss Ann; Sketch; Mood Swing; Labyrinth; Combat; Micro Gravity.

Personnel: Jacam Manricks: saxophones; Gary Versace: piano; Joe Martin: bass; Obed Calvaire: drums; Alan Ferber: trombone; Scott Wendholt: trumpet.

Title: Trigonometry | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read My Head Is Listening CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Passin' Thru CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Ugly Beauty CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Nick Davies
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Live in Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Concert
by David Becker
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Chance Meeting" CD/LP/Track Review Chance Meeting
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 28, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A DONATION  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.