157

Leonard/Skrowaczewski/Zappa: Visions

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Leonard/Skrowaczewski/Zappa: Visions Hark gentle reader, and gather around for a lesson in history. The team of Mark Leonard, Nick Skrowaczewski and Stanley Jason Zappa studied under Bill Dixon, played in his band, and recorded on his label after Dixon heard the first five tracks from what would become Visions. Knowing that these five songs were not enough for a record, they went into the studio and added seven more. That was a good move, because it challenged their ability to play authoritatively in different contexts.

The call of the avant-garde and free expression, with the avowed spirit of John Coltrane upon them, is but one side. The other is a calmer plain, a more linear progression and an emphasis on melody. One cannot argue with the split: the music testifies! Zappa is a hard blowing tenor man, his voice in command and in control of the elements. Oh yes, he does honk and gives vent to the squeal, but he is loquacious in the writing of his dictionary: bold, brusque and vibrant. Leonard is not only responsive to the call of Zappa, he is constantly churning ideas, pithy injects that can invoke and create a shift in tide. Skrowaczewski attunes dynamics in his accents on the cymbals, the prancing patterns on the snares and in the swish and jingle of percussion.

From the earlier work, “Atomic Swerve” stands out for the interjections of sound from the clarinet where melody and atonal lines straighten out seamlessly before the discourse is continued through “Increase and Ornament.” The heated manifestation of “Along the Breakwater” harkens back to the music that came out of their first foray into the studio. The rest of the tracks clasp the warmth that emanates from the tuneful "The Geometry of Change” to the waltzy, melancholic “Ye Olde Mitre.” At the end of it all this band makes a pressing claim for attention.

Personnel:

Mark Leonard

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Archive Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Vyamanikal" CD/LP/Track Review Vyamanikal
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Radioactive Landscapes EP" CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.