Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jacam Manricks - Cloud Nine (Posi-Tone, 2012)

Saxophonist Jacam Manricks is a player with a strong melodic sensibility, performing on this album with a potent unit which includes the leader on alto saxophone, Adam Rogers on guitar, Sam Yahel on organ, Matt Wilson on drums and David Weiss sitting in for one track on trumpet. Manricks has a has a nice and individual tone on the alto saxophone, a light and floating texture that makes a marked contrast to the more pinched and tart feel favored many other alto players. The band's patient and subtle style of music works quite well, and should make their music accessible to mainstream jazz fans. The combination of organ and guitar is always a beguiling one and particularly here with Yahel and Rogers playing together, and combining with them always excellent drummer Matt Wilson to lay superb foundation stones for Manricks’ solo flights and their own individual statements. Inspired by a visit to visit to the grave of Eric Dolphy, one of his prime inspirations, “Serene Pilgrimage” is particularly interesting, with Manricks taking the song as an unaccompanied solo performance, developing a meditation and mindful format that allows him to show off different facets of his technique. The majority of the compositions are Manricks originals, leading off with the title track “Cloud Nine” which makes the most of his light and airy tone, interacting with the band at speed. David Weiss sits in with the group on the complex original “Lullabies and Alibis” and the album closes with their sole non-original, a lilting performance of "Luiza" by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Cloud Nine - amazon.com

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