Monday, May 26, 2014

Rhys Tivey, No Voice No More

Trumpeter-composer Rhys Tivey may be young (we all were at one time) but he has already formed a particular way of making music, as heard on his quartet disk No Voice No More (self released).

The stage is set for us by the title cut, a pentatonic lament. We have no voice any longer; music will be our voice. From there we go on to three more Tivey numbers, then a cooperative work in five parts by the entire quartet. The music closes out with the standard "My One and Only Love".

The group is a well-matched one. Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc plays an important role fleshing out the harmonic implications of the numbers and soloing in that very developed way of his. Tivey has a matter-of-fact tone on trumpet with a brooding quality in the middle-to-lower register, some brilliance at the top and a very definite feel for phrasing directly and memorably. No, not like Miles, exactly, but pared down to essentials in ways Miles might have appreciated.

The drums-bass rhythm team of Ross Pederson and Sam Minaie has a role to fill in the music and does so with the right feel.

The Tivey numbers stand out as distinctive; the five part "Dream" series is key centered and freely inventive. The foursome come up with a moody stance that is pre-patterned as well as free-wrought, which stands out in ways that stay in the mind. The standard has a Chet Baker-like vocal which perhaps may be classed as inessential. But no matter.

Tivey has determined to strike out on his own. This introduction gives us reason to appreciate his single-mindedness. Pilc sounds great too and the whole band gives you a very special sound that gets your attention and doesn't let go. Keep going, Rhys Tivey! Give this one a listen.

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