Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.
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"Twelve Days has a chorale texture evoking the ennui of an Ozu film, suggesting a long-lost 'ago' with no specific historical reference (the improvisational equivalent of a "New Lang Syne ); while "Savile Row embodies the middle-of-the-afternoon vibe of the classic Bill Evans Trio Village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: violin, viola; Paul Motian: drums.