Dec 5 2016
What’s remarkable about Interview Music (A Suite for Quintet+1) is how fluid the music remains while navigating a course of dense compositional guideposts. Much of this has to do with the way trumpeter Ian Carey builds in the improvisational sections in something other than a typical “now is the time we take our solos” construct. It makes it more difficult to tell where and when the improvisational sections start and end, and it’s a big reason why the music has such a spontaneous flow, as if the entire album were performed in a one-take off-the-cuff session. But it clearly wasn’t. There’s just too much going on here for that. It’s a straight-ahead session. No one will argue that. But there’s nothing straight-forward about any of it.
There’s the way the alluring melodic lines open the first part of a four-part suite, but then transform into a rhythmic outburst of competing conversations between the wind instruments and the rhythm section. But of even greater appeal is how the commingling of those separate dialogs ends up with an entirely new, collective perspective of the original discussion. It’s an effect that repeats itself on the third part, when the overlapping waves of wind instruments are like ripples in a smooth lake surface, until water becomes air and the song takes to flight. And there’s the way that “Part II” always beats with the heart of a ballad even when its pulse rises and the blood comes rushing in. Or how on “Part IV,” what begins as a jaunty stroll through the park evolves into the determined scaling of cliffs.
Carey’s compositions take his sextet through all kinds of terrain and at all kinds of speeds and in any number of directions. Thankfully, it isn’t weighted down by the changes, but freed, instead, to just sing.
Your album personnel: Ian Carey (trumpet), Kasey Knudsen (alto sax), Adam Shulman (piano), Sheldon Brown (bass clarinet), Fred Randolph (bass) and Jon Arkin (drums).
Released on Kabocha Records.
Listen to more of the album (plus an EPK) on the artist’s site.
Jazz from the Oakland, CA scene.