Sebastian Noelle: guitar; Marc Mommaas: tenor saxophone; Matt Mitchell: piano; Matt Clohesy: bass; Dan Weiss: drums.
Backed up by a great quintet, the German-born guitarist, Sebastian Noelle, puts up his third album on the Fresh Sound label.
Throughout the tunes that make part of “Shelter”, it’s easy to identify consistent ideas and refined sounds that occasionally step aside from the common jazz boundaries. “Ahir Bhairav”, a Hindustani classical raga, shows exactly that consistency and openness.
Another tune that called my attention was “Unlikely Heroes”, a rhythmically complex composition that inhabits in the rock genre, evincing Weiss’ great agility with the bass drum as well as a visionary improvisation by Noelle. A broken swing erupts on the spur of the moment for Mitchell’s haunting solo.
Both the polyrhythmic “Home In A Strange Land” and the strapping “Naphta vs Settembrini” display interesting dialogues between the bandleader and the communicative Dutch saxophonist Marc Mommaas. In the former tune, this interaction takes the form of a stimulating shared improvisation, while in the latter, it relies on two distinct melodies that simulate a philosophical conversation between Thomas Mann's "Magic Mountain's characters mentioned in the title.
In “Seven Up”, it’s outstanding how Clohesy and Weiss play slightly behind the tempo with sophistication. Mitchell shows his explorative side and creativity in a great solo, while Noelle, exhibiting a bright sound, picks unconventional notes to cause admiration.
Expansive and well-founded, “Shelter” will reveal many new aspects to be discovered at every listening.
01 – Seven Up ► 06 – Unlikely Heroes ► 08 – Ahir Bhairav