All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Ryan Carraher: Vocturnal

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist and composer Ryan Carraher is blessed with an enormous technique and a fertile and inventive musical mind (having received the Achievement Award from the guitar department of the Berklee College of Music), which is doubly impressive in one so young.

Carraher states that the compositions in Vocturnal "are heavily inspired by the classical composers of the 20th century (Messiaen, Schoenberg, Berg, Stravinsky, etc.) and the expressive freedom of jazz." In this he has beautifully succeeded, but what is especially fascinating is that his music has the sound of familiarity about it (from the point of view of modern chamber jazz) while simultaneously possessing an other-worldliness that sets it apart. It is obviously connected to the jazz happening now and yet sounds resolutely new and fresh.

Supporting Carraher's guitar is the very fine rhythm section of drummer Steve Wilkinson, bassist Greg Toro and keyboardist Evan Waaramaa, plus alto saxophonist Brandon Wilkins. Carraher's light touch and guitar sound is echoed by Wilkins soft-edged saxophone and Waaramaa's Fender Rhodes sounds (which seem to fit much better than piano would), as well the subtle drums and bass of Wilkinson and Toro. Stylistically, Carraher is completely free rhythmically and plays lines which many times sound like two instruments answering each other, with wide interval jumps and directional changes which surprise. His compositions "float" harmonically and can be quite beautiful melodically.

The album consists of eight tracks of which three, "Equuleus," "Sagitta" and "Aquila" (placed first, in the middle and last) are short and more experimental and act as an acidic contrast to the longer pieces which take their time in drawing one into the music in a sort of hypnotic manner. "9 Thermidor" and "Pangolin" could be thought of as the most traditional pieces, since in both melody, harmony, rhythm and structure sound closer to straight jazz, the former a very pretty ballad and the latter having a nice swing.

At over fourteen minutes, "Valantis" is by far the longest track, taking its time to weave its musical web, inviting one to give in to the flow and for time to stop. Exceedingly attractive and subtly sexy with its undulating harmony and rhythm, with no particular structural signals, the piece becomes a major statement in extended melodic sound painting. Both "Vocturnal" and "Gdansk" have Carraher's signature angular lines, with the latter being the record's most overtly subtly burning track.

Definitely someone to watch, Carraher has made a real statement with Vocturnal; there is surely much more music to come from this highly talented player and composer.

Track Listing: Equuleus; Valantis; 9 Thermidor; Sagitta; Vocturnal; Pangolin; Gdansk; Aquila.

Personnel: Ryan Carraher: guitar; Steve Wilkinson: drums; Evan Waaramaa: keyboards; Brandon Wilkins: alto saxophone; Greg Toro: bass.

Title: Vocturnal | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Pâro

Pâro

Ryan Carraher
Obscure Sorrows

9 Thermidor

9 Thermidor

Ryan Carraher
Vocturnal

Vocturnal

Vocturnal

Ryan Carraher
Vocturnal

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Obscure Sorrows

Obscure Sorrows

Self Produced
2018

buy
Vocturnal

Vocturnal

Self Produced
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read No One Is Alone CD/LP/Track Review
No One Is Alone
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Between the Silence CD/LP/Track Review
Between the Silence
by John Kelman
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Flying CD/LP/Track Review
Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "Live At Cafe Amores" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2018
Read "Hule" CD/LP/Track Review Hule
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 4, 2018
Read "Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 27, 2018
Read "Caldera" CD/LP/Track Review Caldera
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 10, 2017
Read "A Humdrum Star" CD/LP/Track Review A Humdrum Star
by Phil Barnes
Published: February 8, 2018
Read "Gleb Kolyadin" CD/LP/Track Review Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018