Thursday, March 28, 2013

Samuel Blaser Quartet, As the Sea

Samuel Blaser is fairly young, a relative newcomer to the jazz scene. Yet his trombone playing has depth, an expressive vocabulary that reflects and makes personal the tradition--from Ory to Mangelsdorff.

This and much more can be experienced on his new CD, As the Sea (Hatology). The music is in four parts. Part one is loosely based on, as I understand it, a tuba obbligato from Wagner's Siegfried; part four makes use of the Indian musico-rhythmic concept of the tihai. Beyond that this is excellent free-wheeling acoustic-electric improvisation with a top-gear band: Blaser, Marc Ducret on electric guitar, Banz Oester on acoustic bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums.

The four parts hang together as a suite. The performance was recorded live at a jazz club in Belgium and the sort of immediacy you can get in such a situation is a big factor on the date.

There are interesting written parts that smoothly segue into the improvisations. The nature of the whole is a kind of free jazz with some rock heft to it. Everybody sounds great. Gerald Cleaver gives everything a distinctive, well-drummed thrust, Banz Oester is rock solid, Marc Ducret sounds devastatingly on top with a very noteful, soulful, avantly well-connect free attack, as good as ever, and Samuel shows us he's a player that needs to be heard, someone with a future in the music, but already a treat to hear.

This is fine music, electric avantdom with a real kick. Highly recommended.

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