Musician? Boost Your Visibility at All About Jazz

Upgrade your AAJ musician page from standard to premium and make your presence felt!

Maximize your visibility at All About Jazz by upgrading your musician page from standard to premium. With it, you'll receive All About Jazz home page exposure, a highly stylized / ad-free musician page with bonus features and benefits, an ad, plus you control where you sell your music and so much more.
Learn More
100

Alexander Hawkins / Elaine Mitchener Quartet: UpRoot

Glenn Astarita BY

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "OM-SE / Environment Music"

Alexander Hawkins / Elaine Mitchener Quartet: UpRoot
Since the mid-2000s, British pianist, composer, Alexander Hawkins (Evan Parker, Chicago/London Underground) has become a force to be reckoned with, largely within Europe's exploratory progressive jazz and improvising circles. As a collaborator and solo artist, the pianist transmits a distinctive line of attack, where melody and free-form extrapolations enjoy a happy coexistence. On this studio set, he teams with notable performance artist, abstract vocalist and fellow Brit, Elaine Mitchener (Phil Minton, George Lewis) for a semi-structured set highlighted by the quartet's deconstruction of some standards and free-jazz sax icon Archie Shepp's, "Blasé."

The album is loaded with alternating flows, variances in pitch, pensive interludes, frenetic pulses, swelling cadenzas and loosely organized subplots, enamored by the vocalist's adventurous scat phrasings and velvety singing. Otherwise, "OM-SE Environment Music" is the lengthiest track at 13:23, spiced with drummer Stephen Davis' trickling rim-shots, rumbling tom-tom patterns, and enlivened by Mitchener's free-flight and lithely executed vocalizations.

Hawkins' builds tension amid his ascending block chords and melodic intervals that tender a flock of disparate tonal contrasts as the quartet becomes emboldened via its free-form rampages, along with several aberrations of the primary harmonic components. Yet the venomous plot subsides when bassist Neil Charles takes a solo spot, guiding his cohorts into a lightly swinging groove that ends in a whisper. Hence, the musicians' cross numerous musical domains during this exhilarating program that broadcasts a host of persuasive viewpoints and fractured subsets of established paradigms.

Track Listing

Why Is Love Such a Funny Thing?; The Miracle / You; UpRoot; If You Say So; Blasé; OM-SE / Environment Music; Joy; Directives / Walk Nicely / I’ll Meet You There.

Personnel

Alexander Hawkins: piano; Elaine Mitchener: voice; Neil Charles: double bass; Stephen Davis: drums, percussion.

Album information

Title: UpRoot | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Open World
Chad Lefkowitz-Brown and the Global Big Band
Fake Dudes
Magnet Animals
Within Us
Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge
Yellow
Emma-Jean Thackray
Live!
Chick Corea Akoustic Band
Distant Voices
David Janeway

Popular

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.