Thursday, December 01, 2016

Abbey Rader West Coast Quartet ‎– First Gathering (Abray Productions, 2015)

Drummer Abbey Rader has made a major resurgence over the past year with his excellent Reunion title which featured Kidd Jordan and this album which places him with Drew Ceccato on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, Peter Kuhn (who put out two excellent albums of his own this year) on alto and tenor saxophones, plus bass clarinet and Kyle Motl on bass. The music on this album consists of four very exciting and open ended performances, which allow the group to explore a wide range of dynamic ranges and feelings. “Foreign Dust” opens the album in a very exciting manner with the twin saxophone front line putting together a series of relentless improvisations solo and duet with the rhythm section of bass and drums keeping the pressure on as the music boils mightily. Motl plays some excellent bowed bass on the following track “Inward Light” which does build a more introspective examination with haunting reeds and spare percussion. The group takes action in traveling through an undefined musical area in order to learn about it. The concluding tracks, “Enduring Mind” and “Realization To Truth” take a path of constant motion between the two extremes. Kuhn’s bass clarinet is particularly impressive in adding color and depth to the music which is characterized by unpredictable change, activity, and progressive exploration of the improvised music format. Rader’s music is a force that stimulates change or progress within modern jazz thorough analysis of a composition or theme and hopefully these albums will get him some much deserved attention in the jazz world. First Gathering -

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