Sixteen: Drummers Suite

  • Code: PI63
  • Producteur: Pi Recordings (USA)
  • Prix: 66,99 zł
  • Recommander ce produit


Avant Jazz / Free Improvisation / Avant-Garde
premiera polska:
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: digipackowe etui
"Sixteen: Drummers Suite" to przez wielu słuchaczy oczekiwany ciąg dalszy (po "Fourteen") poszukiwań Dana Weissa, w obrębie dużych składów wokalno-instrumentalnych i rozbudowanych form awangardowo-jazzowych kompozycji. A projekt to niezwykle ambitny, rozpisany na szesnastu wykonawców, gdzie w dodatku wiodącą rolę (nie - co prawda - melodyczną) odgrywa instrument lidera czyli perkusja.
"Sixteen" jest jeszcze bardziej odważnym nagraniem niż poprzednia płyta - zespół rozrasta się do szesnastu osób, wokalistów (3 osoby) i instrumentalistów, których skład - osobowy i instrumentalny - naprawdę przyprawia o zawrót głowy: akustyczny bas, gitara, fortepian, syntezator, trzy saksofony, dwa puzony, tuba, flet, harfa, glockenspiel, organy, wibrafon, tabla i perkusję. Wszystko to sprawia, że w porównaniu z poprzednim projektem zakres soniczny i możliwości zespołu są o niebo większe.

Jednak zgromadzić olbrzymi skład znakomitych muzyków to jedno, a potrafić użyć tak dużego aparatu wykonawczego (i w tym wypadku kreacyjnego), to zupełnie dwie inne rzeczy. O ile jednak poprzednie nagranie przynajmniej mnie osobiście pod tym względem nieco rozczarowywało, to tutaj już nie ma chwili na uczucie niedosytu. Cztery lata twórczej pracy w rozmaitych składach to naprawdę dużo i - słychać to od pierwszej do ostatniej minuty - Dan Weiss wykorzystał je w absolutnie niezwykły sposób. Tu nie ma miejsca na niepotrzebne nuty czy nic nie wnoszące partie - każda fraza, każda zmiana solisty i instrumentalnej konfiguracji wydaje się być konieczna i logiczna, i każda bez wyjątku potęguje tu napięcie. Do tego dochodzą znakomicie poprowadzone wokalizy - to właśnie na mnie chyba zrobiło tu największe wrażenie. Danowi Weissowi udaje się bowiem coś, co do tej pory w moim odczuciu kończyło się rozczarowaniem, czyli efektywne i konsekwentne połączenia dużego składu instrumentalnego w kreatywnym jazzie z wywiedzionymi z jazzu wokalizami. Wywiedzionymi, bowiem to nie jest czysto jazzowe frazowanie - muzyka na "Sixteen", a w konsekwencji i wokalizy, to unikalny amalgamat jazzu, muzyki indyjskiej, współczesnej muzyki klasycznej i wielu jeszcze innych wpływów utkanych przez Dana Weissa w spójną i nierozerwalną dźwiękową tkankę. Koniecznie!
autor: Józef Paprocki
Copyright © 1996-2017 Multikulti Project. All rights reserved

Editor's Info:
Sixteen: Drummers Suite is the highly anticipated follow-up to Fourteen, drummer/composer Dan Weiss’s brilliantly ambitious opus for fourteen musicians. Nate Chinen of the New York Times named it one of his top ten releases of 2014, and Peter Hum in the Ottawa Citizen called it “a blazingly creative effort. Ultimately, its audacious and unconventional success is uplifting, a testament to what's possible and what can be imagined.” Sixteen is even more daring: The ensemble is now comprised of sixteen musicians, featuring drums, acoustic bass, guitar, piano, synthesizer, three saxophones, two trombones, tuba, flute, three voices, harp, glockenspiel, organ, vibraphone, tabla and percussion, giving the work even greater sonic scope. Like on Fourteen, the work is an unique amalgam of jazz, Indian music, prog rock, contemporary classical music, and other completely idiosyncratic influences, all woven by Weiss into a completely sui generis musical tapestry.

Weiss started composing Sixteen immediately after the completion of Fourteen, which had whet his appetite for further exploration of different orchestration concepts and use of a greater tonal palette. The work is particularly influenced by the composers Iannis Xenakis and Per Norgard, whose works Weiss was studying. Around the same time he was analyzing an Elvin Jones comping rhythm from a video he found on Youtube of the John Coltrane Quartet performing the song “Vigil” at the Comblain-la-Tour Festival, Belgium in 1965, and the idea came to him to use a particular drumming passage as the basis for his composition “Elvin.” Inspired by the idea of starting his composition process with a drum pattern rather than harmony or melody, Weiss went on to meticulously transcribe specific rhythmic passages of some other of his favorite drummers: Max Roach, Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny “Klook” Clarke and Ed Blackwell, and utilize them as the basis of each movement of the suite. Each piece on Sixteen is built not only around these specific drum patterns but they also reflect Weiss’s imagining of the personality based on his research into the lives of each drummer. He further cross-references these personalities from movement to movement as a way of showing how they influenced one another, reflecting the nature of the drum lineage in the jazz tradition. The introductory piece “The Drummers Meet” intertwines all six drummers' phrases in the context of a chakradar, a specific type of tabla composition. The source material for the other pieces are:

Elvin Jones, from John Coltrane Quartet recorded at the Comblain-la-Tour Festival, Belgium, 1965: “Vigil,” from 2:15 to 2:23 Max Roach, from Max Roach's Deeds, Not Words: “Jodie?s Cha Cha,” from 1:02 to 1:11 Tony Williams, from Miles Davis’s Nefertiti: “Nefertiti,” from 6:37 to 6:50 Philly Joe Jones, from Miles Davis’s Milestones: “Billy Boy,” from 5:10 to 5:14 Kenny “Klook” Clarke, from Dexter Gordon's Our Man in Paris: “Broadway,” from 0:00 to 0:09 Ed Blackwell, from John Coltrane and Don Cherry's The Avant Garde: “Cherryco,” from 4:55 to 5:02

Weiss is one of the busiest drummers on the jazz scene. He has toured and recorded with the likes of Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Lee Konitz, Tim Berne, Rez Abbasi, and Amir ElSaffar, in addition to musicians such as keyboardist Matt Mitchell, saxophonists Dave Binney and Miguel Zenon, guitarist Miles Okazaki, and vocalist Jen Shyu, all of whom appear on Sixteen. Indeed, the musicians on the album - most of whom also appeared on Fourteen - are almost entirely made up of Weiss’s long-time collaborators. As much as Sixteen is an expression of his singular vision, it is also a reflection of this strong community of superb, like-minded musicians who admire Weiss’s talent and ambition and have bought-in fully to this considerable undertaking. Pianist Jacob Sacks, who has played with Weiss for over twenty years, says of him “Dan is one of the greatest musicians of our time. His endless fountain of creativity, scholarship, and camaraderie is a constant source of inspiration to me and to anyone who has ears and a heart.”

As on Fourteen, the work is through-composed and written specifically to showcase each musician's unique sound. Even with all the tricky rhythms and abrupt changes in the music that might seem unwieldy for such a large group, the musicians pull it all off with aplomb. Jen Shyu says of Sixteen: “I was most struck by how tailor-made it was for each of us. During the recordings session he seemed to know exactly how it would sound. The music really shows the vastness of his imagination and is a window into how his mind works; how he is able to bring all of these influences together. For all its complexity rhythmically as well as melodically and harmonically, the music remains penetrating and lingering.” Jacob Garchik, who plays trombone and tuba on the recording said “Danny has a distinctive compositional voice, which mirrors his vibrant personality: deeply layered and complex, with humor, surprise, virtuosity, tradition, swing, soulfulness, and groove.” On Sixteen, he abstractly and beautifully translates the multi-layered styles of his drum heroes, their independent limbs to simultaneous melodies. It delights with overlapping, complimentary layers where melodic lines co-exist in different rhythmic cycles, instrumental groups, stylistic references, and sonic palates. With Sixteen: Drummers Suite, Weiss has realized another exceptional achievement, one that continues to reimagine the possibilities of what a large ensemble can do in a jazz context.

All About Jazz - ocena * * * *:
Dan Weiss began his professional drumming career touring with the likes of saxophonists David Binney, Lee Konitz, Rudresh Mahantthapa, among others. Weiss has also been studying tabla with Pandit Samir Chatterjee for two decades and has been named a top drummer in a number of prominent polls. Sixteen: Drummers Suite bears more than a passing resemblance to Weiss' Fourteen (Pi Recordings, 2014) at least in terms of the music's development and the cohort of musicians.

Weiss' inspiration for Sixteen: Drummers Suite is not confined to the legendary drummers whose specific contributions within larger works serve as jumping-off points for these through-composed pieces. Weiss studied the work of Iannis Xenakis, a Romanian-born architect and composer who often used mathematical models in composing. His final composition, in 1997, was written for percussion soloist and chamber orchestra. Another inspiration is Danish composer Per Norgard, whose noteworthy composition "I Ching" (1982) was written for solo percussion.

Weiss opens with a brief solo, "The Drummers Meet," flowing directly into "Elvin" and touching off complex rhythms and unexpected deviations. The Elvin Jones inspired piece is the first of several, almost psychedelic saturations of buzzing electronics, wordless vocals and ensemble playing woven together by this master percussionist. "Max" (referencing Max Roach, of course) adds a spoken word loop in staccato, rap mode. One of the most classic references is "Tony," as in Tony Williams, and derived from the drummer's performance on Miles Davis's "Nefertiti." Opening with a warm solo from bassist Thomas Morgan and then joined by pianist and keyboardist Jacob Sacks and Matt Mitchell, respectively, the vocalists and larger ensemble take the piece on an uninhibited ride. Sacks closes the tune with a hymn-like piano solo.

Remaining compositions are based on very brief, particular phrases from Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Clarke and Ed Blackwell. The Blackwell piece is the most reflective and direct on the album, opening with moody sax but moving through a wide range of changes over its fifteen-plus minute length. It closes with Miles Okazaki's pensive guitar and the distant pulse of Weiss. Much of the satisfaction in listening to Sixteen: Drummers Suite lies in the levels that reveal themselves over repeated listening. Despite the intricacies that Weiss revels in, there are coherent qualities throughout the music. The compositions are both powerful and fantastical and the sixteen musicians persistently take advantage of the potential in these unique creations.
By KARL ACKERMANN ocena * * * *:
Dan Weiss returns with a slightly larger ensemble and a more-cohesive, driving vision. His previous album, FOURTEEN, was a grand big-band spectacle. On SIXTEEN: DRUMMERS SUITE, Weiss has crafted a glorious tribute to six of the all-time great drummers: Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Clarke, and Ed Blackwell. The source material for each composition (“Elvin,” “Max,” “Tony,” “Philly Joe,” “Klook,” and “Ed”) comes from specific patterns performed by each drummer on a certain recording. And truly, one could spend hours digging into the original recordings, comparing them to these compositions, digging further into each drummer’s discography to pull together the various threads of inspiration that informed how Weiss attempted to shape each track in the style and personality of its namesake. But I want to spend slightly more time on what an exceptional big-band album this is.

“The Drummers Meet” introduces the album’s concept with a Weiss solo that incorporates elements of each drummer’s style. Weiss then abruptly kicks off “Elvin,” the track that inspired this entire project. Sixteen retains many of the same players from Fourteen, with a few additions and substitutions: Stephen Cellucci, Thomas Morgan, Jacob Sacks, Matt Mitchell, Miles Okazaki, Katie Andrews, Anna Webber, David Binney, Miguel Zenon, Ohad Taylor, Jacob Garchik, Ben Gerstein, Judith Berkson, Lana Is, and Jen Shyu.

Morgan introduces “Tony” with a brief solo. About a minute in, the horns lay down the first melodic line, followed by a short piano duel and harp riff. By the time Taylor, Binney, and Zenon begin trading saxophone solos, the rhythm section, along with the vocal trio, is absolutely swinging. Later, Mitchell is heard on glockenspiel backing Okazaki, a pairing that recurs a couple of times throughout the album. And these are the kinds of moments that showcase Weiss’s imagination, dazzling interplays often between instruments you’d never typically match up.

“Philly Joe” opens with a beautiful tabla pattern, eventually settling into a meditative choral stretch that takes up most of the middle section. A Xenakis-inspired horn pattern pulls the track forward into a fascinating blend of new music and wordless vocals, that somehow segues into a Mitchell organ solo, countered by Sacks’s circular piano line. During the last third of “Klook,” Morgan and Weiss perform an evocative duet, teasing a pairing I’d love to hear more from.

At 15 minutes, “Ed” is the undisputed standout. Opening with a free, unaccompanied chorale, the entire band gradually joins in, adding another voice and layer to the floating improvisation. There seem to be shades of color here, rather than discreetly composed lines (though I may be mistaken), as only a few melodic elements repeat. After Weiss joins on cymbals, there’s an extended duet by Sacks and Mitchell, echoing some of the lines heard during the horns’ warmup. The echoing line is picked up again by the saxophones, and the full band comes and go in thick waves, with Binney and Zenon occasionally singing a high alto note above the fray. Weiss plays a couple of tabla-inspired drum solos, but “Ed” somehow manages to showcase all sixteen players at once. Webber’s flute, like Binney and Zenon’s altos, cuts through in later sections, but the group’s heady interplay is what’s being showcased, in many ways an inspired reflection on all the drummers honored here. The album fades out on a contemplative conversation between guitar, glockenspiel, and piano, punctuated by quiet fills from Weiss. It’s an unexpected finish to the thicket that came before, suitably elegiac and thoughtful.
By Lee Rice Epstein

Dan Weiss: compositions, drums, tabla, vocal percussion
Thomas Morgan: acoustic bass
Jacob Sacks: piano
Matt Mitchell: keyboard, piano, glockenspiel, organ, vibraphone
Miles Okazaki: guitars, vocal percussion
Stephen Cellucci: percussion, vocal percussion
Katie Andrews: harp

Anna Webber: flute, alto flute
David Binney: alto saxophone
Miguel Zenon: alto saxophone
Ohad Talmor: tenor saxophone
Jacob Garchik: trombone, tuba
Ben Gerstein: trombone

Judith Berkson: voice
Lana Is: voice
Jen Shyu: voice

01. The Drummers Meet
02. Elvin
03. Max
04. Tony
05. Philly joe
06. Klook
07. Ed

total time - 49:10
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