Saturday, May 14, 2011

KLANG - The Other Doors [Allos Documents]

James Falzone - clarinet
Jason Adasiewicz - vibraphone
Jason Roebke - double bass
Tim Daisy - drums

special guests:
Josh Berman - cornet
Jeb Bishop - trombone
Keefe Jackson - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello, electronics

AllosDocuments 2011

The program presented by this cd was created for 2009 Chicago Jazz Festival to celebreate 100th aniversay of Benny Goodman's birth. Which could be surpriging if you look at the names playing in this group. But it all clicks amazingly here, with swing, chamber and free-jazz meshing together, sometimes in the same piece, creating an unique presentation of historical continuum.

6 out  of 15 tunes ("These Foolish Things" is played twice - to start and to end the album) are 6 originals  by Falzone, the rest are  associated by Goodman. You'll hear fabulous solo clarinet (the aforementioned "These Foolish Things") and Jason's tone is pure and elegant. You'll hear more chamber-like songs or arrangements that this band is known for. And you'll hear them swing, sometimes lightly in a ballad, sometimes going right for it with a roaring horn section ("Stompin' at the Savoy" indeed stomps).

The diversity proposed is quite unusual and hard to grasp. "Rose Room" swings tastefully (Tim Daisy's brushwork is absolutely stylish), "Six Appeal" is a slow blues. "Memories of You" are turned into chamber, sorrowful and slowly evolving melody (Londberg-Holm's cello sound is absolutely beatiful in this one). While "The 4:08" combines the joyfull swing and dramatic edge of modernism in two co-existing, interlayered, themes and "Goodman's Paradox" is quintessence of this album in a way it puts swinging rhythm section with free flow of simultanous soloing.
Falzone's playing is rich and elegant but never conservative, and his arrangements bear the same qualities. The contributions by the guests are very valuable as they expand the sound palette and provide some nice soloing. The chemistry of this group is what really makes it all click, Adasiewicz's vibraphone could be crucial for the overall sound, but the rhythm section keeps the dynamics together, making the complicated changes seem flawless - excellent job as creating the sense of unity in the diversity is what makes this album such a success really.
James Falzone, cited in liner notes, says that he wasn't trying to pay homage to Goodman, nor updating his work, nor emulating his sound. What he did want to do though was to "emulate what Goodman did in terms of being present in his moment. The greatest thing [one] can do too pay respect to a jazz muician of the past is to be a jazz musician of the present". Which in my oppinion he completely succeded in. And it is absolutely clear that, though with an abvious nod to a history, this project is not a history lesson. Highly Recommended.

two tracks from the album are available in the radio playlist played on 02.20.2012

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