Oct 14 2016
There’s so much spirit in this music. It’s full of life, and delivers it with a heart-on-the-sleeve sincerity. Franklin Kiermyer lives in that place where hard bop expanded into something far freer and with too much unrestrained abandon to be penned up in a tight construct. During that particular transition period of Jazz, though things weren’t likely to swing, a crisp, lyrical melody was more than just a concept, and the intermittent returns to that melody, whether fully manifested or the slightest fragment, were a target upon which all of the free jazz intensity could be aimed. The songs wouldn’t necessarily have structure, but that coming back home to the melody provided the tunes the impression of a shape, and from that, the ability to discern an identity from within a sea of chaos and unpredictability.
Kiermyer lives in that place, expressed on his drums and his newest album Closer to the Sun. It’s unleashed with every kind of ferocity there is, and yet by honoring the importance of a well-crafted melody, Kiermyer’s quartet brings each song home to something familiar, a lyrical guidepost of what’s being said and how the conversation is rolled out. A few tracks, like the opener “Greetings To Pharoah” and “Song for my Daughters” dive head-first into the kind of spiritual jazz that, also, was a landing ground for many musicians on their exodus from the hard bop idiom. And then there’s the thick plume of smoke “For Arthur Rhames,” showing that the softer side of the album beats with a heart as strong as its wilder counterparts.
You can’t go wrong with this one.
Your album personnel: Franklin Kiermyer (drums), Lawrence Clark (tenor sax), Davis Whitfield (piano) and Otto Gardner (bass).
This album is Self-Produced, released on Kiermyer’s Mobility Music.
Listen to more album tracks on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from NYC.
Available at: Bandcamp