227

Taylor Haskins: Wake Up Call

Phil DiPietro By

Sign in to view read count
Taylor Haskins: Wake Up Call
Some big thinking is evident here, but not of the traditional jazz type. Trumpeter Taylor Haskins obviously takes compositional inspiration from rock, film and electronic music, as well as jazz. Not the first player of his generation to do so, he's brought some like-minded friends along.

"You Have Everything You Need" begins in the Latin-epic arena, with guitarist-extraordinaire Ben Monder's strumming setting off Haskins, saxophonist Andrew Rathbun and violinist Regina Bellantese's unison theme. The tune calls for wide-spanned, lightning quick arpeggiation on guitar, so it's lucky Ben's handy. In consonantly cacophonous fashion, the band rides a wave of harmony set up by pianist Guillermo Klein, setting up "Equal Being," a ballad having little to do with conventional jazz vocabulary and more to do with mood and repetitive snippets of melodicism. Often the bass doubles the piano line, only to then set it off for Haskins' muscularly lyrical solo. Rathbun's big-toned solo statement powerfully echoes Haskins' idea, after which they fittingly blow in unison. The overall effect is more powerful than the sum of its parts-epic rock balladry meets the jazzbo set.

This all leads to "Dream With You," a more full-on pop trip featuring a Radiohead-like intro into a drum'n'bass feel, complete with laptopisms from Haskins, featuring female vocals by Aubrey Smith that serve a more atmospheric than content-driven function. This is certainly unlike anything previously issued on the FSNT imprint—in a good way! I really like what happens when the vocal drops out and Monder makes a super-clean-toned jazzy rock guitar statement over a Soul Coughing-like rhythm track. On this date, Ben goes a long way toward proving he's the most likely guitarist to fill in for Jonny Greenwood on a sick day.

The cruising "Nomad" sets up "Parking Lots," another pop song, this time with deep Björk references. Theremin intros the tune to it's usual spooky effect, yielding to unison "strumming" by piano and guitar. Monder paints harmonic scenery for sensual vocals, a paragraph drenched in the poetry of dual-relationships, ceding to beautiful dual wordless vocalizations with trumpet.

Like the Bad Plus and other lesser-known jazzers, including Plus members and fellow FSNTers Ethan Iverson and Reid Anderson, Haskins' work tinkers with jazz forms, mingling them with rock ideas. These artists are forging something new, compelling and ear-grabbing having more to do with mood, hook and atmosphere than key centers, reharmonization and scale substitutions. The influence of artists like Radiohead and Björk, simply the most pervasive influences on current popular music, resonates profoundly on Haskins' improbably impressive debut, wherein traditional forms are discarded and the beauty of new forms revealed.

For more information, visit Taylor Haskins on the web.

Track Listing

You Have Everything You Need; Equal Beingl; Dream With You; Hecuba; Nadar; Nomads; Parking Lots; Please Be Quiet, Please; Wake-Up Call; Ooga Booga; Precipice; Live Free Or Die; Lost Poem.

Personnel

Taylor Haskins: trumpet; Andrew Rathbun: saxophones; Ben Monder: guitar; Guillermo Klein: piano; Ben Street: bass; Aubrey Smith: vocals; Regina Bellantese: violin; Jeff Hirschfield: drums; Yusuke Yamamoto: percussion.

Album information

Title: Wake Up Call | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Blue Moon

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Speak Low II
Speak Low II
Lucia Cadotsch
Read Time OutTakes
Time OutTakes
The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Read Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Steve Masakowski and the Masakowski Family

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

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