Nicole Mitchell: soprano and alto flutes; Marty Ehrlich: clarinet and bass clarinet; David Morales Boroff: violin; Michael Dessen: trombone; Joshua White: piano; Mark Dresser: bass; Jim Black: drums.
The experienced American bassist Mark Dresser, who has worked in the past with modern-creative luminaries such as Anthony Braxton, Tim Berne, and John Zorn, continues serving up astounding original music. “Sedimental You” only reinforces the idea that he's a giant of the avant-garde jazz scene.
To start, let me tell you that the accentuated and contrapuntal “Hobby Lobby Horse” is a magnificently orchestrated overture that balances stamina and charm through its unconventional grooves, tortuous tempos, regular disruptions, and witty improvisations. Every peer had the opportunity to speak their souls, stirring different emotions and generating an intricate complexity that is more enriching than puzzling.
Everything stated above is brought to the title track, an abstract ten-minute rendition of the jazz standard “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You”, here infused with metric modulations and a myriad of odd sounds.
The expressionistic trades of the politically-charged “TrumpinPutinStoopin” first gains foundation through the intelligible textures created by piano, bass, and drums. At some point, the texture thickens as the horns and strings intensify its manifestations, adding extra color.
Ravishingly beautiful is “Will Well”, a melodic incantation dedicated to the respected 80-year-old trombonist Roswell Rudd, which starts as an ensemble chant before taking the form of a spiritual prayer led by piano and bowed bass. The trio's devotional harmonic cycles extract the best of Ehrlich and Mitchell, whose controlled discourses are followed by the young Boroff's more outgoing approach on the violin. All is gratifying and compatible.
Inspired by memories of the late singer Alexandra Montana, “I Can Smell You Listening” spreads scented chamber sounds over the air while working as a receptacle for eloquent improvisations and rhythmic disturbances.
In turn, Dresser sought inspiration in darker places for “Newton Char” - the mass shootings in Newton and Charleston. This composition, engulfed in unpredictable clouds, boasts perplexing solos by all the magnificent seven, under a propelling bass-drums groove. This dashing posture heavily contrasts with the closing tune, a short chamber piece named “Two Handfuls of Peace”, composed in honor of the saxophonist, pianist, and composer Daniel Jackson.
Incredibly adventurous without discarding the rigor of the written material, this is Dresser’s best record in years. Indeed, it's a thought-provoking body of work.
01 – Hobby Lobby Horse ► 04 – Will Well (for Roswell Rudd) ► 06 – Newton Char