Two Miles A Day is a recording date spearheaded by 'newbie' composer/performers Jacob Sacks (piano) and Eivind Opsvik (bass), ably abetted by downtown newjack-of-all-trades Mat Maneri (viola and violin) and interactive maestro Paul Motian (drums). An outing of structured volatility, it features the compositions of the co-leaders, rough templates for group interactivity and exploration.
The tracks run short, a series of vignettes that capture a momentthen move on. Opsvik's pieces are moody and opaque: "As We Know It creates tone poetry through a drawn-out violin melody; "Evening Kites has a rock 'n' roll chord progression with a few unexpected bytes of dissonance (like discovering a pebble in your sandwich, the hard way); "Bridge and Tunnel recalls a Jackson Pollock painting, with splashes of spattered color, irrationally logical; "Twelve Days has a chorale texture evoking the ennui of an Ozu film, suggesting a long-lost 'ago' with no specific historical reference (the improvisational equivalent of a "New Lang Syne ); while "Savile Row embodies the middle-of-the-afternoon vibe of the classic Bill Evans Trio Village Vanguard sessions.
Sacks' compositions are separate but equally compelling: "Ha! is angular and abrupt; "Playing with Blocks implies more than it states, shifting focus between musical personalities in a way that belies and undermines the tradition round-robin of solos; "Funny Shoes melds the quirky sensibility of Monk's music to user-friendly harmonies and showcases Motian's less-is-more minimalism; and "Simple Song is folksy, drawing on elements of swing, ragtime, blues and bop, cutting a broad swath through musical North Americana.
Track Listing: Ha!; As We Know It; Playing With Blocks; Two Miles a Day; Evening Kites; Bridge and Tunnel; Funny Shoes; Gray Plaid; Simple Song; Twelve Days; Savile Row.
Personnel: Jacob Sacks: piano; Eivind Opsvik: bass; Mat Maneri: viola and violin; Paul Motian: drums.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.