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...

93

Conference Call: What About...?

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
One of the finest improvising units working today, Conference Call is a complete band, capable of touching all the jazz bases, be they individual or group improvisation, or the performance of composed music. The quintet's sixth release, What About...? is a two-disc session from the band's 10th anniversary tour, and was recorded live at Alchemia in Krakow, Poland.

Conference Call's lineup has remained stable for the past three releases—since drummer George Schuller took a drum chair once held by Matt Wilson, Han Bennink, and Gerry Hemingway—and follows Poetry In Motion (Clean Feed, 2008) and past discs on Soul Note, 482 Music and Leo Records. This is the group's second live recording, allowing the band to stretch out and convey its music in an unhurried manner. The three-part "After Like" presents 32 minutes of group improvisation, across two discs. The band's instant creation covers multiple direction and moods, and allows for varied pairings and individual improvisations. The sweep of this music focuses on collective sound and the panoramas available those willing to take the journey.

Although the high energy pieces gel quite nicely, the more introspective tracks—"Translucent Tones (Gestalt In Three)" and "What About The Future?"—are the highlights of the set. The former moves with the snaking motion of Schuller's hand drumming, bells, and maracas, and the pinging of Stevens' piano, as Ullman brings forth some stately, solemn bass clarinet to set the mood. The latter piece finds Ullmann tracing his tenor saxophone against Fonda's bass, edging it into the upper register without breaking the mood. Both pieces are touchingly beautiful.

Elsewhere, Conference Call balances a left-handed bit of bebop with "Circle," with Ullman working out on soprano while Stevens rings out some chords that Thelonious Monk might have conceived. "Could This Be A Polka?" is just that, with a wry sense of old Europe, as the band crawls through the track, and stops and dissects it into solos by each player, before putting an exhausted polka to bed. Same for the crowd—undoubtedly exhausted, and quite happy.

Track Listing: After Like (Part 1); After Like (Part 2); What About The Future?; Circle; Conference Call; Litmus; After Like (Part 3); Could This Be A Polka?; Translucent Tones; What About...?

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Joe Fonda: bass; George Schuller: drums, percussion.

Title: What About...? | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Not Two Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Seven: Live @ Firehouse 12

Seven: Live @...

Not Two Records
2014

buy
 

Seven (Live @...

Not Two Records
2013

buy
What About...?

What About...?

Not Two Records
2010

buy
 

What About The...????

Not Two Records
2010

buy
Poetry In Motion

Poetry In Motion

Clean Feed Records
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "Close To You" CD/LP/Track Review Close To You
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 12, 2018
Read "Ara" CD/LP/Track Review Ara
by Don Phipps
Published: January 4, 2018
Read "Piano Images" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Images
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Penmanship" CD/LP/Track Review Penmanship
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Chants To The Sea - The Corium project" CD/LP/Track Review Chants To The Sea - The Corium project
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 30, 2018
Read "Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim" CD/LP/Track Review Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 13, 2018