Nov 30 2016
If the album’s title is meant to have an interpretive value to the music on tenor saxophonist Nate Lepine‘s debut, then it should come as no surprise that the opening tracks “Youngblood” and “Ice Shirt” have a loose configuration, almost drawled out at times, a sense of beer spilled carelessly and in wide circles. That, in of itself, is a nifty kind of expressionism, but the album’s title-track signals a shift to an intensity with a greater focus and sense of purpose. The contrasting qualities amplify the sonic pressure, and when the trend continues, the tension blends in seamlessly with the raw melodicism and an aggressive rhythm section. Sometimes the new conversational style is carried out through the post-bop wind sprints of “Even Yeti’s Ready for Spring” and “Hennies,” and sometimes it manifests with an angular momentum, like on “Aye Lads” and the paired twins “So Don’t I (Nate)” and “So Don’t I (Nick).” And not a drop of that beer gets spilled for the duration.
Worth noting that while this counts as Lepine’s debut at the helm, he’s not new to the scene, nor are any of his quartet members, so don’t be surprised by how professional Quartet:Vortices comes off sounding.
Also worth noting that I covered this quartet’s show for the Chicago Jazz Festival, and if you get the chance to see them live, you can consider it a highly recommended suggestion by this site. Read more (LINK).
Your album personnel: Nate Lepine (tenor saxophone), Nick Mazzarella (alto saxophone), Clark Sommers (acoustic bass) and Quin Kirchner (drums).
Released on Ears & Eyes Records.
Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Chicago scene.