Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Listening

Sam Newsome: "Blue Soliloquy" (self release)
Newsome's solo soprano sax outing released in 2009.
Throughout The album Newsome incorporates techniques such as Multiphonics, Microtones, Slap tongue, and the Doppler effect.

I feel that the pieces are very arranged and perhaps a little more spontaneity would loosen things up a little. However, this highly organized manner of playing presets these techniques in a very approachable way for the uninitiated. The track lengths also helps -  of the 14 originals and a Monk tune, the majority fall in the 2 - 4 minute range ( with only two over 5 mins)
This is his second (of three) solo soprano albums - in time I will check out the others.

Trance Formation: "In Concert" (New Artists Records)
Connie Crothers (p) Ken Filiano (b) Andrea Wolper (v)  Don't expect your run-of-the-mill vocalist out front of a rhythm section here - Tranceformation are a collaborative trio performing eight free improvisations taken from two live performances in 2009/10 (a souvenir for me as I was at The Stone concert in 09... perhaps there's another post - live albums from gigs you attended?). Risks are taken, but never at the expense of the music or group sound - the three blend so well together resulting in pieces and an album that have wonderful continuity. I'm looking forward to hearing more from this exciting trio.  Recommended for those looking for more adventurous vocal recordings.

"Fo[u]r Alto: 4 Compositions by Frank Gratkowski" (Leo Records)
Saxophone quartet Four Alto playing Four Compositions For Four Alto Saxophones... oh, and the Anthony Braxton reference too. I think that covers the title.  The group is led by Frank Gratkowski and is rounded out with fellow German's Florian Bergmann, Benjamin Weidekamp & Christian Weidner.
I first heard this group in 2009 (fairly early in its life) during Hayden Chisholm's annual workshop in Greece. It took a little time but their first album was released at the end of 2012 (two other discs from Gratkowski were released at the same time). Microtonality looms large - you have been warned. I will post a bit more on this one later.

Miles Davis: "Kind of Blue" (Columbia) - see this entry.

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