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...

7

Geof Bradfield: Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers

Jerome Wilson By

Sign in to view read count
The Compass Players was a legendary theatrical ensemble in Chicago whose members developed several improvisational games to stimulate their creative instincts. One of these was called "Yes, and..." where one person would start telling a story and everyone who followed would have to continue the story however they wished from the point the previous speaker ended. Saxophonist Geof Bradfield has applied the concept of that game to this project, writing a suite for nine improvising musicians where each movement builds on what came before, sometimes veering off into a completely different direction.

In practice, this concept breaks down into four long pieces played by the entire group that alternate with four short ones played by different trios from within the band's personnel. It all starts off with "Prelude," a bellowing tenor-led trio with Bradfield's sax singing over Clark Sommers' bass and Dana Hall's drums. That leads into "In Flux" with Scott Hesse's guitar spraying notes over pulsing bass and drums and alternating with warm massed horn passages before Greg Ward's sour, piercing alto takes over. Then comes the solemn brass trio of "Chorale" which gives way to "Impossible Charms," a moderately swinging groove with a bit of Charles Mingus swagger that features fine soloing from Bradfield, Marquis Hill and Joel Adams.

"Ostinato" is a short, tangled cluster by the rhythm section that gives way to "Anamneses," an extended work that starts out as deep-focused exotica led by Anna Webber's flute and Dana Hall's rustling percussion. Eventually Hesse, Webber and Hall go into a slow-motion tumble with Hesse's guitar developing a Spanish tinge. Then Russ Johnson takes commands with a slow, winding trumpet solo and the piece begins to sound like a simmering derivation of the Miles Davis-Gil Evans classic, Sketches Of Spain.

On "Chaconne" the three saxophonists, Bradfield, Ward and Webber on tenor, play a measured chamber trio, with harsh, sliding harmonies, that eventually swirls into the choppy and chatty flow of "Forro Hermeto," a tricky, polyrhythmic dance inspired by the work of Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal. Here the reeds and horns briefly bubble up, with Webber's flute in the lead, before everyone takes a turn soloing over a lively samba. Here, as in many other places on the CD, Scott Hesse's rhythm guitar is crucial in giving the music an extra bounce that makes it feel airy and free.

Geof Bradfield's music is fun and playful and gives his chosen partners plenty of opportunities to shine. This is a heady little addition to the long, storied legacy of Chicago jazz.

Track Listing: Prelude; In Flux; Chorale; Impossible Charms: Ostinato; Anamneses; Chaconne; Forro Hermeto.

Personnel: Geof Bradfield: tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet; Anna Webber: flute and bass flute, tenor saxophone; Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Russ Johnson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Joel Adams: trombone; Scott Hesse: electric and classical guitars; Clark Sommers: acoustic bass; Dana Hall: drums and percussion.

Title: Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Central Avenue

Central Avenue

Geof Bradfield
Melba!

Urban Nomad

Urban Nomad

Geof Bradfield
Urban Nomad

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers

Yes, and...Music for...

Delmark Records
2018

buy
Birdhoused

Birdhoused

Cellar Live
2017

buy
Our Roots

Our Roots

Origin Records
2015

buy
Melba!

Melba!

Origin Records
2013

buy
African Flowers

African Flowers

Origin Records
2010

buy
Urban Nomad

Urban Nomad

Origin Records
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Faroe CD/LP/Track Review
Faroe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2018
Read The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Stained Glass & Technicolor Grooves CD/LP/Track Review
Stained Glass & Technicolor Grooves
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 15, 2018
Read A Journey CD/LP/Track Review
A Journey
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Decay Of The Angel CD/LP/Track Review
Decay Of The Angel
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica CD/LP/Track Review
Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 14, 2018
Read "Again" CD/LP/Track Review Again
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 9, 2018
Read "The Return" CD/LP/Track Review The Return
by Chris May
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "when the shade is stretched" CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "The Future is Female" CD/LP/Track Review The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Chorando Sete Cores" CD/LP/Track Review Chorando Sete Cores
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 14, 2018
Read "80 Years" CD/LP/Track Review 80 Years
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 10, 2017