Aug 27 2013
Basing his compositions on English Renaissance composer John Dowland’s Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares, multi-instrumentalist Christian Muthspiel has crafted an album with an informal stateliness and a sober cheerfulness. Seaven Teares is an album that thrives on formality… the straight renditions of historical music, the embrace of classical compositional approach, the application of traditional jazz improvisation, and, more abstractly, a prevailing ceremonious tone and expressionism. Even at its most solemn, however, this music smiles.
Some tunes, like the melancholy “Frozen Tears” and the dreamy “Tears of Love” bring a chamber jazz approach with an extra dose of warmth, whereas tunes like the furtive “Happy Tears” and the exalting “Tears of Joy” gets sparks flying with the conversational interplay of modern European jazz improvisation. And there is a track like “Dancing Tears,” with its transitions between lovely brass harmonies, sprightly melody, and guttural effusiveness that speaks of a more traditional jazz originating from the U.S. mainland.
Expressions are delivered with a confident patience. It lets the music breathe in its own time, in its own way. Even when the pace quickens, like on “Tears of a Clown,” the music never reaches a state of breathlessness to counteract its abiding stoicism.
Just a wonderful recording, with a very personal sound.
Your album personnel: Christian Muthspiel (trombone, piano, e-piano, recorder), Matthieu Michel (trumpet, flugelhorn), Franck Tortiller (vibraphone), and Steve Swallow (electric bass).
Released on the ACT Music label.
Jazz from Austria.