Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Hard-Edged Rudresh, Elemental Jeremy P and Goodbye Mr. Morris
I enjoy the fine work of Moutin and Weiss, who play without cliches and continually take chances; the direction must come from the leader, he seems to relish the adventure and his frequent spars with Fiuczynski are exhilarating. Is this music for the casual listener? No way, but "Gamak" should appeal to lovers of adventurous music. For more information, go to www.rudreshm.com.
After the group returns from Europe in early February, they'll play a series of dates in the US, including a visit to Sprague Hall on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, CT, on February 22. For ticket information, click here.
Yet, one is also easily seduced by the handsome ballad work on Stanley Clarke's "Butterfly Dreams" and the all-acoustic "Meditations on a Conservation We Had". The Clarke composition, which dates back to the bassist's debut recording, has a diaphanous feel, Pelt's phrases moving in and out of the percussion washes. "Meditations.." has a soft melody played on trumpet and Roxy Coss on tenor saxophone and then the two wrap their solo lines around each other. Ms. Coss, who is a member of DIVA Jazz Orchestra, plays on 6 of the 9 tracks, alternating between tenor and soprano. Her tenor solo on "In Dreams" rises above the martial drums and the atmospheric Fender Rhodes lines of David Bryant while her lively soprano work on "Mystique" displays both grace and fire as well as the influence of Wayne Shorter Vocalist Ra-Re Valerde delivers a sensuous message on "Stay", her voice overdubbed and electronically altered, while Pelt's trumpet effects create an other-worldly feel. It's the one cut where the electronics feel forced.
"Water and Earth" illustrates that Jeremy Pelt is a musician who not only does not worry about labels but transcends genres with ease. His writing continues to mature while his trumpet playing shines throughout. Don't be put off by the Rhodes and the occasional "effects, this recording is worth paying attention to. For more information, go to jeremypelt.net.
here while Mr. Morris explains his contribution to modern music at www.hallwalls.org/music/194.html. He did not release many recordings but New World Recordings did issue a 10-CD set of his "Conductions" in the 1990s (and it's still available.) He also did work with the Burnt Sugar ensemble.
Like the late Bill Dixon and the very-much alive Muhal Richard Abrams as well as Anthony Braxton, Lawrence "Butch" Morris created music that built upon and extended the "tradition" - he will be missed and, one hopes, his contributions will live on.