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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records | Style: Modern Jazz

Related Video


More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Live In The South Bronx" CD/LP/Track Review Live In The South Bronx
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Reflections Of A Voice" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections Of A Voice
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Twin Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Twin Talk
by Mark F. Turner
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Big Wheel Live" CD/LP/Track Review Big Wheel Live
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "North Star" CD/LP/Track Review North Star
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 2, 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!