105

Denis DiBlasio Quintet: Where the Jade Buddha Lives

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Denis DiBlasio Quintet: Where the Jade Buddha Lives As a former member/musical director of trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's band, baritone saxophonist Denis DiBlasio is certainly no stranger to mapping out music and following charts. But he also has an adventurous streak, one in which the slightest of frameworks is laid down—maybe just a mood suggested or, perhaps even, a single note brought up as the basis for a mood—and the musicians are allowed free reign within these loose architectures.

Of course the right musicians need to be picked; and for Where the Jade Buddha Lives, Diblasio has rounded up a stellar rhythm section headed by pianist Ron Thomas—the piano trio responsible for the superb Music in Three Parts (Art of Life, 2006). They are a flexible and highly interactive crew that combines a feeling for freedom with an unerring instinct for ethereal beauty. Drummer Joe Mullen and bassist Paul Klinefelter are leaders in their own right; having played extensively with Thomas, the familiarity and telepathy show.

Opening with "Distressing Disguise," DiBlasio and his front line partner, trombonist Jim McFalls, ride a fluid forward momentum with some smooth unison blowing, leading into McFall's smooth-as-butter solo. Thomas follows the melody in a reactive mode, like a slow motion jazz version of the playground game crack-the-whip. Here, and throughout the set, spontaneity is the name of the game; these in-the-moment songs—points of view upon which the band members improvise—can't have been rehearsed a lot, and the music has a freshness for it.

"Buonarroti's Ceiling" is a meditative exploration of the mood brought on by an encounter with the Sistine Chapel, conveying a sense of awe and wonder. DiBlasio's solo ruminates in a cool tone, while Thomas and Klinefelter delve into a deeply reverent conversation, with Mullen whispering in the background.

On Rimsky Korsakov's "Song of India"—the only non-original on the set and featuring some magical piano/flute interplay, with DiBlasio switching from baritone sax to bass flute. The title tune, inspired by DiBlasio's visit to Thailand with the Maynard Ferguson Band, has a feeling of subdued, stealthy grandeur, with a tranquil Eastern tinge.

For the closing "The Long Goodbye," DiBlasio suggests the note F to the group: not the key of F, but the note. The result is a ballad that blossoms patiently and beautifully, with Thomas sprinkling raindrops on the petals of McFall's stretched-out trombone notes. A gorgeous goodbye.


Track Listing: Distressing Disguises; Buonarroti's Ceiling; Teach Me I Dare You; Baby Dom; Song of India; The Truth Will Out; Where the Jade Budhha Lives; The Puppy's Not Cute Anymore; The Long Goodbye.

Personnel: Denis DiBlasio: baritone saxophone, bass flute; Paul Klinefelter: acoustic bass; Jim McFalls: trombone; Joe Mullen: drums; Ron Thomas: piano.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Art of Life Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Geri Allen Geri Allen
piano
Greg Murphy Greg Murphy
piano
Mike DiRubbo Mike DiRubbo
sax, alto
Joe Magnarelli Joe Magnarelli
trumpet
Bob Sneider Bob Sneider
guitar
Anthony Branker Anthony Branker
composer/conductor
Pete Christlieb Pete Christlieb
saxophone
Greg Chako
guitar
Roy Assaf Roy Assaf
piano

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Tournesol" CD/LP/Track Review Tournesol
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "Sélébéyone" CD/LP/Track Review Sélébéyone
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "Hasta Karma" CD/LP/Track Review Hasta Karma
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Shock Axis" CD/LP/Track Review Shock Axis
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 15, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!