September 2022 Jazz Record Reviews

Steve Cardenas/Ben Allison/Ted Nash: Healing Electric power: The Audio of Carla Bley
Cardenas, guitar Allison, bass Nash, tenor & soprano saxophones, clarinet
Sunnyside SSC 1664 (CD, obtainable as down load). 2022. Allison, Cardenas, Nash, prods. Matt Balitsaris, eng.
General performance ****
Sonics ****½

Carla Bley, now 86, is between the very finest residing jazz composers. But her position is somewhat unusual. None of her tracks has pretty turn out to be a common jazz conventional. There have been less Bley tribute albums than you could assume. For a long time, Gary Burton’s Dreams So Real and Paul Bley’s Barrage have stood as the finest. Now Healing Energy joins them.

The trio in this article selected Bley compositions that mirror the breadth of her artwork. Her fondness for swift, convoluted tunes with startling irregular phrase placements is represented by “Ictus.” Her bare, elemental lyricism is superbly exhibited by “Lawns,” primarily based on only two interrogatory notes. Her wry wit is contained in “And Now the Queen,” a tune like an ironic curtsy. Bley’s greatest format is the huge ensemble, so it is noteworthy that Therapeutic Power achieves comprehensive, loaded renderings of Bley music with only a few devices. On the title track, Steve Cardenas performs orchestral guitar. On “Olhos de Gato,” Ben Allison fills the entire soundstage with his resonant, darkish bass. All through, Ted Nash’s three reed instruments range the shade palette.

All fantastic jazz composers compose parts that established the phase for improvisers. This trio presents considerate, respectful interpretations of Bley varieties, but then they do as this most imaginative of composers would want: They crack absolutely free and reimagine them and solo their butts off, individually and collectively. “Ida Lupino” may well be Bley’s most effective-known tune. Cardenas first portrays the basic, repetitive, addictive concept. Nash shadows him. A spell is solid, and sustained even as just about every participant is provided his own moment to wander close to in the exclusive brain of Carla Bley, as embodied in her most cryptic, haunting melody.—Thomas Conrad


922jazz.shi

Matthew Shipp Trio: Environment Construct
Shipp, piano Michael Bisio, bass Newman Taylor Baker, drums
ESP-Disk (CD). 2022. Steve Holtje, prod. Jim Clouse, eng.
Overall performance ****
Sonics ****½

Matthew Shipp could be the most initial jazz pianist on the scene, bearing the affect of Cecil Taylor and Paul Bley but getting them in totally unique instructions. He is rooted in the avant-garde, notably through his early quartet sessions with David S. Ware, but in the course of the previous decade, as he neared (and just lately passed) 60, he has explored a lot more lyrical passages with out getting rid of his knife-sharp edge. Entire world Build, recorded with the similar glove-fitting trio as his 2020 album The Unidentifiable (which may perhaps be his ideal), marks a riveting phase in his incessant evolution.

Globe Assemble starts with a toe-tapping bass-and-drums groove, which Shipp then twists into a chromatic spiral with brashly dissonant intervals that someway deepen, relatively than detract from, its snappy appeal. He follows up with a soft meditation, and then, over the album’s following 9 tracks, rotates from really hard-main pounder to calming ballad then to tense misterioso (called, fittingly, “A Mysterious Condition”) and back again around—all infused with melody, blues, and from time to time attractiveness.

The couple of pounders are a minimal little bit monotonous. I want Shipp when he flirts with genres, getting them on hair-elevating spins or pleasurably adventurous rides.

I hope sometime he makes an album of ballads and expectations. (It is really not out of the concern. His 2013 Piano Sutras, 1 of his greatest solo albums, featured carefully probing addresses of Coltrane’s “Huge Actions” and Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti.”) But who am I to notify Shipp what to do? He’s been recording for almost 35 yrs, virtually each and every phase surefooted.

Globe Construct was recorded by Jim Crouse at his Park West Studios in Brooklyn, with a couple of very good mikes and no artifice, straight to 24/48 digital, and it seems fantastic: dynamic, detailed, colorful, and warm, but realistically so.—Fred Kaplan


922jazz.ty

Tyshawn Sorey Trio: Mesmerism
Sorey, drums Aaron Diehl, piano Matt Brewer, bass
Yeros7 95269 15980 (CD, out there as download, LP). 2022. Michael Carvin, prod. Aaron Nevezie, eng.
Efficiency ****½
Sonics ****½

Tyshawn Shorey is the proverbial “diverse drummer,” a special composer and bandleader. He tends to make summary, airtight albums that normally go so slowly and gradually that they have been named “durational songs.” He is a jazz improviser who sometimes writes in rigorously notated lengthy sorts. He is embraced by the modern day classical and experimental songs communities. He is also the most critically acclaimed avantgarde jazz musician of his era. He even received a MacArthur “genius” grant.

This unpredictable artist has now performed the one thing he was least envisioned to do: He has produced an album of expectations. “For a extended time, I felt an extreme need to document some of my preferred songs from the Wonderful American Songbook,” Sorey states, in press notes. He recruited two substantial-level collaborators who are extra mainstream than himself, pianist Aaron Diehl (greatest recognised as a single of Cécile McLorin Salvant’s common accompanists) and bassist Matt Brewer.

Sorey’s reverence for “Detour Forward” seems genuine. Yet, for 14 minutes, the pensive melody moves in and out of concentrate as it passes by ongoing critical modulations. Diehl is a seductively lush, romantically inclined pianist. In this article, in the presence of Sorey, he thinks extra asymmetrically about his lyricism. Brewer takes an eloquent solo (a single of his a lot of). As for Sorey, the complexity of his accentual patterns is wide. (Because he is first an ensemble conceptualist, his creative imagination as a drummer is typically forgotten.)

Sorey’s “Autumn Leaves” is accurate to the spirit of this legendary track, even although its theme is present only in fragments and glimpses. The two of these absolutely free versions of standards straight proclaim their melodies at the close, like affirmations that can no more time be deferred. In the tracks described above as well as four much more, Mesmerism fulfills the assure of its title.—Thomas Conrad

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