Ultraviolet is the third album by Chicago alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella's (Ken Vandermark and The Eternals, Rob Mazurek) trio and is firmly nestled in the Windy City's progressive and free jazz domain. Go-to session ace, drummer Frank Rosaly and bassist Anton Hatwich stir the pot on numerous occasions and part of the beauty relates to the leader's synchronous melding of bop, free bop and avant expressionism into a cohesive, multilateral program.
The artists get to the point and yield a qualitative game-plan sans any filler material. The music is underscored by a loose demeanor other than several movements devised with high- energy regimented time changes or passages framed on relaxed inner-workings. On "Abacus and Astrolabe," Mazzarella's popping notes spearhead a scrappy and driving reconstruction effort amid other pieces interspersed with mini-motifs. However, Rosaly introduces "Outlier" with colorful cymbals patterns and a staggered pulse, leading the band into an up-tempo bop vamp, heightened by his swarming press rolls. But the primary theme casts a militaristic forum via brusque unison choruses and regal undertones, profoundly supported by Hatwich's bulbous walking bass lines. The trio also alternates the cadence while incorporating rubato metrics on occasion. And "Archaeopteryx" is led by the leader's frenzied but purposeful choruses, executed with doses of anarchy and torment atop a thrusting beat and a few inferences to the blues. Indeed, this band packs a mighty wallop, enhanced by Mazzarella's insightful and largely, invigorating works.
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