May 28 2016
For some of you, I can simply say that the album Here Comes a Riot falls under the category of the Brian Blade Fellowship and leave it at that. But just because I think the Fellowship’s music should be universally known, that doesn’t make it so, and so for those of you not familiar with that band, let me start by saying that the quintet Identikit crafts melodies as beautiful as they are durable. Everyone knows what a beautiful melody is, so no need to continue with that line of conversation, but durability… that’s what allows guitarist Marzio Scholten, bassist Sean Fasciani, drummer Niek de Bruijn, alto saxophonist Lars Dietrich and tenor saxophonist Jasper Blom to go off on solos and group trips that wander far far away from that gorgeous opening statement of melody and yet continue to reference it as if they were carrying it in their back pocket the entire time.
But it’s more than just referencing the melody… the quintet alters it, reshapes it, boosts its strength, lets it fall into a state of vulnerability… even as they enter one stage of the song after the other, giving the impression of traveling a very great distance. It’s a nifty effect and a talent not to be underrated. And whereas the Brian Blade Fellowship tend to emphasize the modern jazz and folk influences within the compositions, Identikit runs a different direction, embracing instead an indie-rock form of expression, and it’s why these captivating tunes are also so much damn fun.
Title-track “Heres Comes a Riot” is brief and to the point, and its pure enthusiasm is about as infectious as it gets. “Wilco” begins a state of dreaminess, then flashes some sharp teeth before ultimately finding a way to give the two states a single voice. “The Day We Lost It All” breathes out the melody with the alluring beauty of the Paris scene, has me thinking of artists like Pierre Perchaud and Nicolas Moreaux, and then suddenly the quintet just sets the whole damn song on fire and now we’re talking an entirely new kind of beauty, one where the melody wobbles and quivers within the waves of heat. “Erath” coasts through a groove for a little while, then suddenly breaks into a gallop and rides the rhythm like a battery of choppy waves, enters an eye of storm with the soft breath of the melody gently strummed on the breeze before re-entering the storm for the big finale. The album ends with “We Stand Alone.” The quintet returns to the dreamy expressionism that paid big dividends earlier in the recording, and then ramp it up to a casually dramatic intensity that signals loud and clear that the conclusion is approaching fast on the horizon.
A really fun album from a band that knows how to craft a beautiful melody and what to do with it when the building is done.
Your album personnel: Marzio Scholten (guitar), Sean Fasciani (bass), Niek de Bruijn (drums), Lars Dietrich (alto sax) and Jasper Blom (tenor sax).
This Self-Produced album was released in 2015.
Listen to more album tracks at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Netherlands.