472

Sacks/Opsvik/Maneri/Motian: Two Miles A Day

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Sacks/Opsvik/Maneri/Motian: Two Miles A Day In early 2005, Michigan-born pianist Jacob Sacks and Norwegian bassist Eivind Opsvik discussed who, among the living legends of jazz they would most like to play with. They agreed unanimously—drummer Paul Motian. Plans were made, fellow Brooklyn resident violist Mat Maneri was recruited to join them, and Two Miles a Day was born.

With limited studio time and Motian's preference for spontaneous improvising, principle writers Sacks and Opsvik chose skeletal pieces of an elastic nature to work with, rather than intricate, chart-driven compositions. Masterful tunesmiths with a penchant for plangent melodies, their writing enriches the session with a harmonically assured palette. The tunes ripple with emotional resonance, conveyed with both empathetic finesse and vivacious zeal.

With startling brio, the album opens with the slashing angularity and fervid tenacity of "Ha!," then radically switches gears for the austere "As We Know It," a pensive neo-classical ballad. Vacillating between mellifluous statements, terse explorations and agitated rhythms, the quartet shifts gracefully from one mood to the next.

Navigating labyrinthine structures studded with jagged angles and jittery rhythms, they enthusiastically tackle the modulating rhythmic cadences of the jaunty "Playing With Blocks" and spiky "Bridge and Tunnel" with tart expressionism.

Invoking a Monkish streak, Sacks' buoyant "Funny Shoes" features Motian at his finest, interjecting spry percussive commentary that belies his age. Another Sacks original, "Simple Song," knits a mercurial melody to a relaxed pulse that borrows Monk's quirky sensibility without resorting to imitation.

Demonstrating proficiency beyond his years, Opsvik's graceful "Evening Kites" radiates with euphonious luster, showcasing Maneri's supple viola as a model of knowing restraint. The pastoral tenderness of "Twelve Days" and the sunny trio feature, "Savile Row" close the album on a poetic note.

Paul Motian is one of the few living jazz legends to continue using his own groups as a training ground for future talent. This date returns the favor, inviting the master to play with up and coming artists in a collaborative setting filled with intuitive interplay. A winning document of a one-off session, Two Miles a Day presents multi-generational jazz at its most inspired.

Visit Jacob Sacks and Eivind Opsvik on the web.


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.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Loyal Label | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Protocol 3" CD/LP/Track Review Protocol 3
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 23, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Back To Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Back To Your Heart
by Jeff Winbush
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017

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!