Thursday, November 8, 2012

Yoni Kretmzer 2 Bass Quartet - Weight [OutNow Recordings]

Yoni Kretzmer 2 Bass Quartet:
Yoni Kretzmer - tenor saxophone
Sean Conly - double bass
Reuben Radding - double bass
Mike Pride - drums

OutNow Recordings 2012

Any quartet with double force in the bass section is bound to be a little on the "weight" side. This is my introduction to Yoni Kretzmer and is plenty of pleasure to meet (listen to) this young tenor player and his comrades.

The cd starts with a aptly titled "Number One" - robust if scattered saxophone against some spare drumrolls, joined soon by the stereo bass sounds - dense, deep, doubly-laid texture serves as perfect platform for more joyfull and playfull saxophone statements. The energy gradullay goes up, Mike Pride rages on the drums, Yoni Kretzmer screams his lungs out and 2 basses fight against each other like heavy weigh boxers, bow and no-bow. A piece that starts deceiptevely light, follows through tension build-up and release, with a fragile blues sax and bass walking against the vibrant, delicately bowed strings.
"Giving Tree" that follows is possibly my favourite track of the disc, with mysterious yet charming saxophone line, with mystic tension created as on double bass section contrasts pizzicato and bowed melodies, propulsated by the polirhytmic drum's accents. Lyrical and charming. Deep and pensieve. Among the following you'll find both the gentle ballad ("Smallone") as well as the explosive hot lava saxophone eruptions in the intro of "Again and Again" (that actually dissolves quite quickly to make space for a spare and playfull saxophone repetitive phrase, around which all the remaing players jump and dance, till the phrase evolves into a spiritual melody and improvisation). There'e the engaging dense and intense improvisation of "Number Three" as well as the melodic and joyfull "A Bit of Piece"). Finally the brief bowed bass x bass duel ("The Detail") and the short yet mad rollercoaster ride (they scream as they fall) - "GT Reprise".

The music on this cd breaths with jazz history, it's pulse, it's melody, it's tone. Robust, muscular, emotional. You will hear the echoes of the titans of free jazz like Archie Shepp, like Ed Blackwell. The surprisingly conventional, even elegant tenor's timbre will get you more far back - to the era of great tenors of Dexter Gordon or Ben Webster (see the bluesy intro to "A Bit of Peace"). There's also in this music the ingredient that gets you back to those times of fire music and often lacks in the modern era "productions" - honesty and conviction.
For those two, for the brilliant feeling, the exquisite playing, the energy, the emotion, the passion, this cd is worhy of repetitive listens, rewarding each single one. 
The quartet presents a powerfull lead voice, a brilliant collaboration between the 2 basses, all spiced and rounded up by exquisite drumming. A full house.

some tracks from the cd are presented in this radio playlist.
Check the band live videos. If compared, the studio version is restrained but no less convincing.

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