Jeff Denson: bass and vocals; Paul Hanson: bassoon; Dan Zemelman: piano; Alan Hall: drums.
“Concentric Circles” marks the return of the American bassist Jeff Denson, who previously had recorded with Lee Konitz and his trio. Here, he convenes a competent quartet to play nine original compositions that rely on a congruous compound of post-bop and progressive jazz. In addition to these, there’s Duke Ellington’s classic ballad “I Got it Bad”, played solo by the bandleader.
The opening tunes, “City Life on Trains” and “Anticipation”, reveal to have some melodic and rhythmic connections, being also strong and vividly active in terms of improvisations, in which the bassoonist Paul Hanson stands out, together with the pianist Dan Zemelman.
In the chamberesque lament “A Thought That Lingers”, Denson comes to the forefront with his great bow work, while in “Wishing Well” he shows his vocal aptitudes. His bass-playing arco can be heard once again in the simmering “Time Waits For No One”, which sounds like a sensual dancing piece flourished with tango insinuations.
“Cycles” returns to the liveliness of the first couple of tunes, just before Ellington’s cited song where Denson shows his portentous bowing technique.
01 – City Life on Trains ► 03 – A Thought That Lingers ► 05 – Time Waits For No One