Sunday, May 10, 2015

NZ Music Month: Hayden Chisholm - Breve

Last month was Jazz Appreciation Month and this month is New Zealand Music Month. So I have decided to get on board and write a little on a NZ Jazz Album each week.
Matt Penman John Taylor
Hayden Chisholm - Breve (Pirouet)
Hayden Chisholm (as) Matt Penman (b) John Taylor (p) 

Recorded December 18/19, 2013.

I always look forward to new releases from Hayden, and Breve (released in March 2015) is a wonderful mix of new and slightly less new. The trio’s first release (video and audio) was on Plush Music and then partially reissued in Hayden’s box set 13 Views of the Hearts Cargo and as Breve - Live at Plush. Of the nine tracks on Breve, "Patche" and "So It Goes" (by Penman & Taylor respectively) are the only tunes that appear on the Plush concert recordings. Some of the tunes penned by Hayden also appear on earlier recordings - "Fly" and "Barely A Moon" can be found on the trio recording Fragmented Teaching (with Simon Nabatov & Jochen Rueckert). There's a vocal version of "Fly" floating around somewhere for those that want to hear it in it's stripped back (original?) form. I thought it was on Hayden's blog, but a quick search there was fruitless.

While it is not strictly a ballad album, there is a very intimate, hushed feeling, with the trio projecting a balanced approach to their collective interplay and, at times, quite a dark/introspective mood. There's plenty of nuance to tune in to - Hayden's shaping of a held note at 1:06 on "Barely A Moon" gives me a kick each time I hear it. No one is in a rush during this hour of music and even when the tempo is raised ("Tinkerbell Swing" & "Augmented Waltz") the trio maintain a relaxed demeanour. Perhaps it's the lack of drums or (more likely I feel) the trio's ability to execute Hayden's vision for this music that brings the relaxed feel and balanced ensemble sound. Either way, it doesn't really matter. During one listen through I was really drawn into Matt's work on bass. At first it was his tone the grabbed me and as the album progressed his accompaniment held my attention more and more - a great blend of support and embellishment. A couple of moments that come to mind are the way his bass lines develop during "Pass A Cage, Lea" and his conversational playing with Taylor during the piano solo on "So It Goes" (he plays a very nice solo here too). I've given the album at least half a dozen listens so far and I know it won't stop there.
http://www.kyberg-studio.com
Penman/Taylor/Chisholm
New Zealand Jazz

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