Here is a collection that could
be described as a composers collective project. These Boston
area writers have decided to document their six original tunes
to the immortality of magnetic tape. Worthy tunes they are too.
They are performed with a nice loose jam session feel.
The guitar/vibes harmonies seem
to work well behind the front-line and some dense microtonalities
result. Duncan Martin on alto is especially sensitive to this.
When I hear a group without piano, I invariably find myself
saying that I don't miss the piano. Now, I have determined that
there may be two reasons that I feel this way. Firstly, the
sound of that particular instrument is eternally omnipresent
in jazz and perhaps that timbre is fatiguing my ears a bit.
I mean just because you like the color orange doesn't mean you
paint the whole world orange, right? Secondly, to my ears the
absence of the piano unmasks an entire spectrum of sound and
this effect is clearly evident on Whats New. The arrangements
emphasize this by presenting melodies voiced in a variety of
I feel the writing of bassist
Shimon Ben-Shir is especially praiseworthy. His tune Dex which
ends the album is reminiscent of a Mingus band; loose and contrapuntal
with a formal asymmetry. Drummer Moroney contributes the final
solo on the tune utilizing the spaces between his notes shrewdly
towards an improvisation that really breaths.
Overall this set makes for interesting
listening. What may have begun as sort of a demo of newly composed
material sounds to me like a stylistically cohesive collection
of avant garde leaning music. Recommended.
The Jazz Friends Review
Vol. 1 Number 2