92

Norbert Stein: We Are

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Norbert Stein: We Are
Venerable German saxophonist, composer Norbert Stein's various ensemble manifestations draw inspiration from the work of 19th century scientist, Dr. Faustroll who developed the 'pata physics' theory, defined as a science centered on "unreal logic." Here, the artist leads a quartet under the moniker "Pata Messengers," which is a semi-free program framed on linear thematic sequences that contain underlying melodic content with spacious intervals and rhythmically complex unison runs.

Certain works spark notions of Ornette Coleman's harmolodic principles as melodies, phrasings and cadences are executed with knotty and soaring lines via forward moving passages. Yet the band also puts the musical transmission in reverse as a means of intimating a different perspective on a core plot. It's a nifty concept that garners additional interest throughout.

Many of these pieces share similar attributes. It's akin to a lengthy suite designed with alternating subplots amid robust improvisational exchanges. For example, on "Diatonic Upanishad," Etienne Nillesen—who solely performs on a prepared snare drum and cymbal—stays on top of the pulse to incorporate a sense of urgency for Stein and pianist Philip Zoubek's swirling currents, refreshed with a playful motif and ascending choruses. However, "What We Are" is a medium-tempo bop anchored by bassist Joscha Oetz's supple support and energized by Stein's brusque attack, sweetened by a touch of vibrato and fluent single note flurries as the band systematically pick up the pace.

"Mellstones" boasts a memorable hook and an uplifting trajectory, as the final piece "Friendship," is an 'amicable' one-minute ballad that finalizes the program on a temperate footnote. Here and throughout, Stein transparently morphs avant-garde inclinations into an uncanny form of conventional wisdom.

Track Listing

Perfume; Gondwana & Pangea; Diatonic Upanishad; El Fado; What We Are; Polarity; Mellstones; Friendship.

Personnel

Norbert Stein: tenor saxophone; Philip Zoubek: piano; Joscha Oetz: double bass; Etienne Nillesen: prepared snare drum + cymbal.

Album information

Title: We Are | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: PATA Music

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Freya
Freya
Tineke Postma
Read Unearth
Unearth
New Hermitage
Read Deep Resonance
Deep Resonance
Ivo Perelman
Read Sun Trance
Sun Trance
Markus Reuter
Read Lies
Lies
Clemens Kuratle Murmullo
Read Prism
Prism
Conference Call
Read Palo Alto
Palo Alto
Thelonious Monk

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.