Thursday, September 22, 2016

Franklin Kiermyer - Closer to the Sun (Franklin Kiermyer/Mobility Music, 2016)

Drummer Franklin Kiermyer’s latest album strongly evokes with glorious music of the great John Coltrane quartet and he is ably accompanied by Lawrence Clark on tenor saxophone, Davis Whitfiled on piano and Otto Gardner on bass. They take this type of jazz as a starting point and create their own statement. “Greetings to Pharoah” opens the album with lush piano and melodic saxophone that echoes Pharoah Sanders’ work. There is strong interplay of percussive piano and percussion on “Unified Space-Time” with the addition of raw cycling tenor saxophone developing a fast and pure sound before stepping aside for a manic piano, bass and drums interlude. “Ota Benga” has light piano and drums with a gentler feel to the music. There is a nice rhythm that is developed over which Clark solos confidently. The back-and-forth of the band is tight and Clark’s stentorian voice adds to the impact of the music. Bright piano and crisp drumming lead the full group into an expansive and explorative mode of playing on “Heliocentric.” There is an interesting contrast between the dark toned saxophone and the hyperactive rhythm unit. “Song For My Daughters” has a quiet majesty at its core that evokes a beautiful sunrise. Showers of piano notes and chords frame the patient and evocative music punctuated by arcing saxophone. After a solid bass opening on “The Soul Train” the rest of the band immediately falls in step. Raw saxophone develops the track further and there is much space made available for Gardner’s very good bass playing. “Emancipation Proclamation” has open, rolling drums and piano providing a sense of momentum and the raw and coruscating saxophone that accompanies it develops a sense of tension and release that adds depth to the music. Sharp percussion and raw, coarse saxophone also provide the needed push to “For Arthur Rhames.” They create a strong vessel for the music to develop with a dignified emotional impact thru gales of saxophone and ripe drumming. The rippling piano recalls McCoy Tyner and that propels the fast rhythm and driving a potent collective improvisation. The fast dynamic nature of the music continues on “Prayer,” which has a driving and pulsating feeling. There is a strong interlude for the rhythm section and then the saxophone returns to developing a steaming finale to the track. Fast drums and saxophone come crashing in on “Closer to the Sun” with tight group interplay that is intensely focused. Hard, scouring saxophone is very intense, aided by potent rhythm making for a strong combination of factors for very exciting music. This is a very exciting and rousing jazz album and the energy and urgency of the music make for very compelling listening. Closer to the Sun - Bandcamp

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