Methodical design, rough-and-tumble play, and thoughtful exchange are often viewed as mutually exclusive concepts in jazz. Saxophonist Michaël Attias' Nerve Dance, however, obliterates that line of thinking and any potential obstacles that could separate those realms. This is a work that's cultured, contumacious, and conversational in nature. It's principled art unbound.
Bigmouth – a project of bassist Chris Lightcap – apparently is inspired by stretched-out, two-toned, tail-finned, white-wall-tired cars of the mid-'50s, in reference to the cover art on Deluxe. The music is ultra-modern from a compositional standpoint, only hinting at neo-bop while pushing the creative improvised harmonic envelope. Lightcap's expertise on the bass is second to none, as he pushes and prods his way through these original works with an absolutely stellar band of drummer Gerald Cleaver, electric keyboardist Craig Taborn, tenor saxophonists Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek, and on three tracks alto saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo. While some allusions to the vintage autos are reflected in the titles, Lightcap's vision is of the future, a heady mix of heart and soul embedded in this refreshing new music.
You can often judge musicians by the company they keep. Float the Edge, the latest album from pianist-composer Angelica Sanchez, features her alongside two of the most sought-after rhythm-section musicians on the scene: veteran bassist Michael Formanek and rising-star Tyshawn Sorey, both acclaimed leader-composers in their own right. To be released via Clean Feed Records on March 25, 2017, Float the Edge sees this earthy, expansive trio perform Sanchez’s compositions, as well as several free improvisations. “A lot of what we do as a trio and what each of us does living a life in this music is take things to the edge, taking the risk to jump off without really knowing where you’re going to land,” the pianist says. “When it works, you feel like you’re floating it’s beautiful.”
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