Saturday, November 12, 2016

Abbey Rader Quartet With Kidd Jordan - Reunion (ABRAY Productions, 2016)

Drummer Abbey Rader originally met saxophonist Kidd Jordan when he was touring with Billy Bang and Frank Lowe in the early 2000s. He knew that there was a spark between them and that he wanted to explore that connection further. But they weren’t able to meet again until this set was recorded live in October 2012 when Rader invited Jordan to sit in with his quartet, which features John McMinn on alto and soprano saxophones, Noah Brandmark tenor saxophone and Kyle Motl on bass. The other members of the band had never met Jordan  before, and it is a testament to the power of music that the band sounds like it’s been playing together for ages, and they play a fully improvised set that is filled with power and majesty. “New Found Spirits” opens the album in a fast and true fashion, with ripples of ripe saxophone coming forth in a torrid fashion. The music moves in a dynamic fashion, with Rader’s subtle but fast percussion moving the proceeding briskly forward. There is an excellent section of collective improvisation, with squalls and skronks of saxophone leading the way. There will be storms of sound and then the music will break to sections of intricate beauty, with deeply emotional cries of saxophone. There is a quiet percussion opening to “Facing the Wall” with the drum solo building to a boiling full group improvisation. The interplay between all members of the group is excellent and they play like a tight, well-oiled machine. The saxophone front line leads the group into a full on free blowout which is very exciting to hear. The very long performance “Talkin', Burnin', Prayin'” sums up all of the tension that the group has built so far and releases it in one long concentrated burst of energy. After another subtle percussion opening, the saxophones come barrelling into the mix in a thrilling fashion, and the music develops organically with no one trying to force the issue. One of the saxophonists uses some circular sounds that remind me of some of the most passionate moments of A Love Supreme to develop inertia and then burst forth with raw and immediate sounds over a complex and interesting rhythm. The music gradually winds down and works are spoken, but the best communication is the unspoken bond between the musicians who develop very exciting and forward thinking music on this album. Reunion - amazon.com

Send comments to Tim.