Monday, October 11, 2010

Jason Adasiewicz - Sun Rooms (Delmark, 2010)

A mainstay on the Chicago jazz scene as both a leader and valued member of collective ensembles, Jason Adasiewicz is continuing the progressive jazz tradition on the vibraphone begun by the likes of Bobby Hutcherson and Khan Jamal. Where the previous albums with his group Rolldown have included horn players, this is a lean and tight ensemble with Adasiewicz on vibes, Nate McBride on bass and Mike Reed on drums. They develop a light and nimble sound beginning with "Get In There," which is uptempo with metallic sounding vibes giving the music a mysterious air, as strong propulsive bass moves the music along. "Life" and "Stake" both have a Monkian flavor to them, probing their cool melodies at a medium tempo. The former has a dark toned and patient bass solo making way for shimmering vibes, while the latter moves into a fast ringing improvisation. "Rose Garden" and Duke Ellington's composition "Warm Valley" are ballad performances the allow the group to investigate spare open space. The ballads are slow and stately with a probing sense of swing. "Off My Back Jack" is also taken at a slower pace, but in a more abstract vein. Bowed bass and skittering drums make for a jittery caffeinated feel, before the music moves into a more lyrical section. Sun Ra's "Overtones of China" is a fascinating performance, with vibes and drums locking into a fast paced conversation that builds to a simmering improvisation. Nice drum work by Mike Reed keeps things consistently interesting. This was a well done and engaging album but three of the busier improvisers on the modern Chicago scene. Adasiewicz has developed his own voice and improvisational style and fits in very well with the open ended pocket constructed by Reed and McBride, making for compelling and progressive music. Sun Rooms -

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