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(Avant-Garde / Modern Creative) Brian Groder - Torque - 2006, FLAC (image+.cue), lossless

Brian Groder - Torque

Жанр: Avant-Garde / Modern Creative
Год выпуска диска: 2006
Производитель диска: Latham Records 5106; USA
Аудио кодек: FLAC
Тип рипа: image+.cue
Битрейт аудио: lossless
Продолжительность: 52:05
Brian Groder: trumpet, flugelhorn
Sam Rivers: flute, saxophones
Doug Mathews: bass
Anthony Cole: drums
1. Spellcast
2. Betwixt
3. Diverging Orbits
4. Behind The Shadows Part 1
5. Behind The Shadows Part 2
6. Iota
7. Cross-Eyed
8. Involution
9. Camouflage
10. Oculus
11. Jingo
12. Tragic Magic
13. Fulcrum
14. Water Prayer
AMG Review
Brian Groder avoids one of the pitfalls that many young jazz musicians make: surrounding himself with players of the same generation. His choice of octogenarian tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers (who doubles on flute) proves that he knows what assets a veteran can bring to a recording date. This adventurous session, adding bassist Doug Mathews and drummer Anthony Cole focuses exclusively on original material, some of which are collaborations with the bandmembers. Rivers' Eric Dolphy-like flute makes a compelling foil for the leader's muted trumpet in "Behind the Shadows, Pts, 1 & 2." "Tragic Magic" is a playful duet between Groder's muted trumpet and Rivers' dancing soprano sax. The haunting "Iota" pairs Groder's flugelhorn with Mathews' tense bass. There's never a dull moment throughout this recommended CD. ~ Ken Dryden, AMG
AAJ Reviews
Once in a great while, a new release comes along in which all the elements of musical magic come together: great ensemble playing, impeccable and sensitive improvisation, and great compositional structures that make it all work. Trumpeter Brian Groder's Torque is one of those rare releases in which everything clicks.
Groder's cohorts on this release are the members of the Sam Rivers Trio, and even the most cursory listen reveals that such a combination of musicians is truly inspired. Rivers and Groder have a natural shared language and rapport that defy the considerable generational distance between them; abstract and interesting ideas lead one to believe that they've been having this dialogue for decades.
To begin with, most of the fourteen selections are short—generally between three and six minutes long. While such stimulating music could be easily endured in massive doses as far as this reviewer is concerned, the idea of keeping the pieces brief and digestible is a master stroke. Motifs are just as long as they need to be, the solos are direct and to the point, making the incredible music on this disc even more potent in short bursts.
The majority of the compositions are by Groder. "Betwixt" is an exercise in measured chaos, typifying the tightness of the ensemble and the seamless communication between Groder and Rivers. "Diverging Orbits" is a delight, with all participants reveling in pure swing with a firm grasp of the song's elusive harmonic structure.
There is also an abundance of intimate duets on this album between various members of the group. "Iota" and "Jingo" are contemplative duets between Groder and bassist Doug Mathews. "Spellcast" and "Water Prayer" are a pair of duets between the Groder and drummer Anthony Cole, again with inspired results as both musicians give each other ample space yet come together at crucial moments to create something spontaneous yet organic.
"Beyond the Shadows (Parts I & II)" captures Rivers on flute and a Harmon-muted Groder in deep and intimate conversation, giving the listener a covert, voyeuristic view of the shared language between two like-minded musicians discussing matters of great import.
The music made by the various combinations of musicians is every bit as riveting as the full ensemble cuts. On "Involution" and "Fulcrum," the group really opens up the seams in a furious torrent with inspired enthusiasm and uncommonly elastic, and effective counterpoint right where and when it counts most. Such frenetic playing is never overbearing and never descends into a tedious, pointless battle of egos.
These musicians have much empathy for one another and are obviously devoted to contributing their unique personalities towards the end of making the best music they can. All of the cuts on Torque are graced with a remarkable sense of balance that makes the somewhat dark material fascinating, rather than leaden and over-serious. Torque is a celebration of great fun and creativity. This is easily one of the best and most exciting releases of 2006 and may prove to be an enduring classic. ~ Ken Kase, AAJ
The axis on which this session rotates is the superb rhythm section of bassist Doug Mathews and drummer Anthony Cole. That said, Torque is likewise an intergenerational jazz jaunt that works exceptionally well due to several factors: the extreme level of comfort that flutist/saxophonist Sam Rivers has with this rhythm section; the fact that Rivers, at the age of 83, can still stylistically blow away just about anybody; and the chops and compositional skills of the driving force behind this date—trumpeter/flugelhornist Brian Groder.
A member of the '60s Jazz Composers Guild along with pianist Cecil Taylor and saxophonist Archie Shepp, Rivers has credentials that match up with any seminal avant gardist. His '70s Studio RivBea SoHo performance space served as a wellspring of free jazz, and his playing across these tracks has lost none of that fire. Groder, who is a shining light in NYC's new jazz avant garde, leads the proceedings with an emphasis on his flugelhorn and intersperses ensemble playing with duets of various pairings on these fourteen compact pieces. A spiritual airiness makes these forms and rhythms, which are defined primarily in terms of line, stand out.
From the artistic packaging to tunes like "Diverging Orbits, which lifts off in controlled melodic flight before each player enters into his own trajectory, and "Fulcrum, where both hornmen independently rise up from a rhythmical pivot point, a loose zeitgeist prevails. "Behind the Shadows Parts 1 and 2 are diminutive flute/horn duets; Rivers leads the way on "Part 1 and Groder returns the favor on "Part 2. All four of these musicians are able to use the full range of their instruments to quell or excite—and whether it is a gorgeous duet, tight ensemble playing, or Rivers and Groder spitting fire, Torque twists and turns easily to move through its free and structured spaces. ~ Elliott Simon, AAJ
I've always tried to remain open to the avant-garde, except when the musicians' freedom comes at the expense of the listener's, forcibly invading the precious personal space required for an aesthetic response. On three occasions when I caught Coltrane following the departure of Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner, I reached such a point but stayed out of devotion, even as I witnessed the house empty. With certain free players, however, I've simply had to leave—not so much because they were invading my space but forcing me to intrude on their private business.
The point is that trumpeter Brian Groder's Torque, despite the title, is no arm-twister, but a varied, frequently absorbing program of fourteen musical vignettes that course through just about every melodic possibility, tonal inflection, dynamic level, rhythmic path, and instrumental texture available to four unique yet synchronistic players—without chordal instruments—in exchange for a return to the fundamental principles of melody and rhythm. In that respect, the music on Torque is as much reactionary as it is "progressive." (T. S. Eliot probably got it right when he insisted that the notion of "progress" is alien to the arts, which return us to the very life-springs that, thanks to our consumptive demands on nature, have all but run dry.)
Once the listener has adjusted to the "tonality problem," this is music of ceaselessly fascinating possibilities, much of its success dependent on the quick decisions required of drummer Anthony Cole. The opening two pieces introduce the sounds of Groder's muted trumpet and Sam Rivers' tenor sax respectively, with the latter's full, bracing sound not quite met on its own terms by the leader's penetrating but somewhat thin-sounding open horn. Doug Matthews lays down solid walking bass support for the leader's solos, followed by a serene Rivers' excursion that takes us back to Matthews' bass for an unaccompanied solo invention.
Rivers' flute and Groder's trumpet, muted once again, comprise a companionable if impolite conversation (the price of polyphony) on the leader's "Behind the Shadows." With "Iota," Groder introduces flugelhorn and a rich, convivial sound, receiving deep-rooted nourishment from Matthews' bass. "Cross-Eyed" breaks the spell of intimate duets, capturing all four musicians in unfocused sound and fury.
"Involution," the longest of the compositions at just over six minutes, offers inviting Rivers flowing into Groder's solo, which yields to a brief, low-key dialog between bass and drums. On "Camouflage," it is again on flugelhorn that Groder proves a compelling complement to Rivers' tenor sax, before returning to muted trumpet for a sharply syncopated "Jingo" and some infectious boppish playing.
On "Tragic Magic" Groder exchanges his harmon for a cup mute while Rivers goes to soprano sax. With the outcome hanging in the balance, "Fulcrum" is a critical moment that features an animated argument between the two principals. It's a split decision until the finale, "Water Prayer," which opens with a vocal chant and continues with Groder's lush flugelhorn, culminating in a reconciliation as well as restoration of the wellsprings that are as vital to music as to life—assuming the creative artist acknowledges there's a difference. ~ Samuel Chell, AAJ
EAC Report
Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 5 from 4. May 2009
EAC extraction logfile from 19. March 2010, 22:57
Brian Groder / Torque
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